Roaming sheep finally corralled in Medford

A pair of Barbados sheep that roamed a plot of land near Interstate 5 in Medford have been caught and are awaiting a new life.Photo courtesy of Medford police

Two Barbados sheep that have been loose in Medford for almost a year saw their time on the lam end Monday night in the backyard of a Medford apartment complex.

Medford police with the help of neighborhood residents captured the goat-like sheep about 9:15 p.m. along the 100 block of Tripp Street, police said.

They were discovered there earlier Monday evening after the sheep — which normally hang around the old Interstate 5 Exit 27 land off Barnett Road — were in I-5 traffic alarming motorists.

They apparently fled down the Bear Creek Greenway before holing up behind the apartments around 7 p.m., police said.

In the past, they've always eluded capture, but being confined in the small area made their corralling possible, police said.

They were hauled to Sanctuary One, an animal-rescue operation in the Applegate Valley where the sheep have been quarantined while awaiting a veterinary check that will be paid for by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Officials hope they can eventually be adopted.

"It's worth the money to get them out of there, get them checked out and to a good home," said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming, whose agency tried and failed to catch the sheep last month.

The animals Tuesday were in a large trailer and isolated from the rest of the sanctuary's animals to give them a few days to decompress and get used to their new digs, says Sansa Collins, Sanctuary One's animal-care manager.

"They're not limping and their eyes are clear. They actually look very good, but they're terrified," Collins says. "Barbados sheep are a hearty wild sheep, so that worked out in their favor. But they've had a very, very hard time."

— Mark Freeman

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