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Indigenous Sheep Conservation Project

The purity of indigenous sheep is threatened, and over the years their genetic material has been weakened by interbreeding with imported species.

Indigenous species are better able to adapt to the harsh environmental conditions of the area and tolerate both external and gastrointestinal parasites as well as tick-borne diseases traits which will be increasingly important given the grim future painted by climate change experts.

Zulu and Bapedi sheep are native to South Africa, and together with Swazi sheep are types of Nguni. They are primarily used as a source of food and income by farmers. The species is small, multi-coloured and fat-tailed. They are distinguishable by their small mouse-like ears and have good foraging abilities and can walk long distances.

The Zoo participates in the breeding project in an attempt to increase sheep population, some sheep are housed and cared for at the Ruitkuil zoo farm in Parys and some can be found at the Farmyard at the zoo. The lambs will be sent to participating institutions such as Sun Cities Animal World.


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