Sheep, being multi-purpose animals, have always been a part of many cultures. Recently, a breed of sheep dubbed the “world’s cutest sheep” has been taking the world by storm, and it’s not hard to see why.
The Valais Blacknose sheep are unbelievably cute. Their snow-white shaggy fleece is soft and incredibly fluffy. Their faces and hocks are black and their eyes are hidden under stringy wool.
We're 11 weeks old now. Hurry up with our treats!
The breed is native to the Valais region in Switzerland, hence the name. The animals live high up in the snow-capped mountains and graze in the alpine meadows on wild herbs. Due to their physiology, the breed is not suited for every country.
Within the past decade, the Valais Blacknose has been imported into the United Kingdom and Scotland, where its popularity began to soar.
Sally and Lindsay Strathdee, breeders from New Zealand, fell instantly in love with the animals after seeing a picture of them on the internet, according to Newshub.
The couple wanted to import the animal into the country but stringent laws forbade it. However, their business partner, Christine Reed, found a loophole in the law that allowed for embryos and sperm to be imported, so that’s what they did.
From Scotland to New Zealand, the best embryos that the UK can produce are now in New Zealand sheep. We wait anxiously for wee ones in the spring 😊
“We implanted in June 2017 and later in October had the most gorgeous 16 lambs on the ground—9 girls and 7 boys,” Reed told the MailOnline.
Today, the Valais Blacknose sheep is growing in demand by breeders and has a burgeoning fanbase.
“We have visitors willing to jump off cruise ships and rent cars just so they can see the sheep,” Reed shared. “Some visitors are also wanting to come to New Zealand just to see them and one photo quickly taken on a cell phone in January 2018 has now had 2.3 million views.”
The sheep’s appearance is definitely unique, capturing the hearts of anyone who sees it. Not only are they lovely to look at, but the animals have a pleasant nature too.
“One of the most wonderful surprises for us though, was that not only were these the cutest sheep in the world, but they had friendly inquisitive natures unlike any other sheep breed, more like your family dog following you around the fields,” Reed said.
Posted by Valais Blacknose New Zealand on Saturday, 2 December 2017