Goat and sheep family

Banff National Park

The goat and sheep family carry true horns that grow throughout the life of the animal.

Mountain goat


Although mountain goats are seldom seen because of their preference for rugged habitat, they are actually quite numerous in the park! They can be distinguished from bighorn sheep by their all-white coats, beards and short, black dagger-like horns which are carried by both sexes.

Characteristics: Narrow black horns, beard, long white hair.

Bighorn sheep


Bighorn Sheep are the second most common ungulate in the park after elk! They have a sandy-brown coat and a white rump patch. Rams have massive spirally curved brown horns, while ewes have short, spiky brown horns.

Bighorns are primarily grazers, and migrate seasonally between low grassy slopes and alpine meadows. Escape terrain with rocky ledges is usually nearby. Sheep are commonly seen at Lake Minnewanka, on Mount Norquay Road, and at the top of the Sulphur Mountain Gondola ride.

Characteristics: White rump and light brown fur and horns. Males: thick curved horns. Females: short narrow horns.

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