Traffic Stops, Crowd Of 300 Gathers To Watch Herd Of 2,500 Sheep Cross Idaho Highway
Hundreds of people were stopped in their tracks Sunday to lay eyes on a herd of approximately 2,500 sheep cutting through an Idaho highway.
While roughly 300 standing spectators sought to see the sea of sheep voluntarily, a handful of drivers on the state highway were unwittingly subject to traffic backups along Idaho’s Highway 55, according to KTVB.
Thousands of sheep in Idaho crossed the highway earlier this week and drew a crowd of excited onlookers.
It’s not unusual to see ranchers moving a bleating herd of sheep up to higher elevation at this time of year. https://t.co/ma87PoU1yQ pic.twitter.com/BsnZCdo80N
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 29, 2023
One driver took to Twitter to lament the delay:
Idaho things! Delayed getting home due to a sheep crossing. #Sheep #SheepCrossing #IdahoThings #RuralLife #Traffic #IdahoTraffic pic.twitter.com/estm2jCtui
— Paul Rosien (@paulrosien) April 24, 2023
Ranchers in the region reportedly relocated the sheep to a forest as part of a century-old tradition occurring every spring as both a forest fire prevention mechanism as well as a stimulant of plant growth.
This time around, the sheep were reportedly met with one of their largest audiences in recent history, Steve Stuebner, the state government spokesman for the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, told the outlet. Stuebner spoke from 15 years of experience with regard to overseeing the excursion event farmers carry out year after year — and in a professional capacity at that.
Speaking on the significantly sizable spectating turnout garnered by this most recent spring-time sheep mobilization effort, Stuebner told KTVB that to those who are not familiar with the mass-scale movement many years in the making, “It’s a novelty.”
“Maybe they’ve never seen anything like that before, but it’s real typical in Idaho,” Stuebner clarified.
Ultimately, the intended destination for the copious farm animal collective is the elevated region that is the Boise National Forest — the end result of a drawn-out (and ascending) journey that will span a “few weeks,” KTVB noted. A notable portion of the trek takes place in “sagebrush-dotted foothills,” according to The Associated Press.
Upon arrival, the sheep are scheduled to spend the duration of the summer in the wooded habitat. By Autumn, the sheep will work their way back to their usual domain in farmland captivity in the city of Wilder, ID.