Bighorn rams his ‘rival’ - his own reflection in window

A herd of bighorn sheep grazes outside the Best Western Antlers Motel in Glenwood Springs in this photo taken by an employee of the motel.



Christian Addie was on his lunch break from his job at the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge this week when he and some coworkers began watching some bighorn sheep that have been wandering into Glenwood Springs over the last several days.

Addie, who is more used to seeing the sheep in nearby Glenwood Canyon, was shooting video of them from a balcony off the breakroom when he saw a ram bump a ground-floor window at the nearby Hotel Colorado.

“He bumped the window a couple of times,” Addie said, and he and a coworker began speculating that the ram was seeing his reflection and trying to defend his ewes.

The next thing Addie knew, the ram threw his head forward and smashed the window, before recoiling at the surprise of breaking glass and running off, seemingly uninjured.

Addie has posted what he saw at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o__kH5b7yJ0.

The door glass is the entryway to Blue Sky Adventures, which occupies space at the Hotel Colorado. Luckily the rafting and bike shuttle and rental company is closed for the season, so no one was inside.

Plywood now covers the door. Geoffrey Olson, a partner in Blue Sky Adventures, says while the incident was unusual, it’s all part of living with wildlife.

“I remember probably seven years ago when a bear went through the hotel. And there’s a wild turkey that lives right up the road here. We live in the mountains, right, so stuff happens,” he said.

Despite the incident, Olson, who lives outside of town, said he’s not too worried about the presence of the sheep in town.

“It’s not that big a deal. I’m more worried about the mountain lions that were on my porch about three years ago when I came home.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said while wildlife occasionally roam into communities, Glenwood Springs residents should be aware that the sheep currently are in their rutting season.

“It’s important to keep your distance because they’re a little unpredictable right now,” he said.

He said people can be tempted to get too close to wildlife out of curiosity and a desire to see the animals.

Ashley Padgett, front office manager at the Best Western Antlers hotel a few blocks away, said the sheep have been coming down to the hotel property. She said they’re fun to watch, and people have worked to try to herd them way from the roadside when they get too close to U.S. Highway 6, where the hotel is located.

“Otherwise we just let them be,” said Padgett, who said she’s not worried about them breaking glass at the hotel.

“Our windows are actually pretty high off the ground so we don’t have any issues,” she said.

Olson noted that the timing of the window damage at the Hotel Colorado comes as the Glenwood Hot Springs is under contract to buy the historic hotel.

“They are going to be do a complete remodel of the hotel starting in two months. … We can leave the plywood up, I guess,” he said.


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