Wooly Animal Hides in Plain Sight In Joshua Tree National Park, Can You Spot It?

National parks are home to thousands of wild animals, but what most visitors may not realize is that most are hiding in plain sight.

They are able to watch for predators or hunt prey without being detected thanks to camouflage. The pattern or color of their fur or skin blends in perfectly with their surroundings.

While it is difficult to spot them, it is not impossible if you look closely.

Joshua Tree National Park shared an image of an elusive animal hiding among the sand-colored rocky landscape. Roughly 100-200 of these wooly animals live in the park. They wrote, “Can you find the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis candensis nelsoni) in this picture?”

It may take you a few seconds, but eventually you will spot the bighorn sheep perched on one of the rocky ledges. Hundreds of people took the challenge after the park posted the photo on Facebook and most spotted the animal right away. Several viewers commented that if there is one there is usually more.

Photo: Facebook/Joshua Tree National Park

One person who has visited the park several times before wrote, “All the many time I have been in that park (lived in 29 Palms, twice, still have family there), I have never seen any big horn sheep. Till now.”

Desert bighorn sheep are typically hard to spot. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provides some tips on how to see one of these elusive animals in their natural habitat. “To spot bighorn, use your binoculars or spotting scope early to mid-morning with the sun behind you. Concentrate on looking for light colored parts of their body, such as the rump patch, that will stand out against the rocky slopes they call home.” However, you will need to be patient as it can take several hours of looking in popular areas to spot a bighorn sheep.

Photo: Pixabay/Mike Goad

If you do happen to see one, please observe from afar. Joshua Tree Park officials shared, “While exploring the park, always keep an eye on the rocks and boulders around you…you could easily walk right by a bighorn sheep without even knowing! But please keep in mind, these animals are very sensitive to human disturbance. So, if you do see one in the park, help protect it by quietly viewing it from a distance.”

Learn more about Joshua Tree National Park and plan your visit here.

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