Has mystery behind flock of sheep walking in a circle for TWELVE DAYS been solved? Expert says the animals were STRESSED due to being shut in a Chinese pen for so long
- The flock of sheep in China ambled around in a continuous clockwise motion
- An agriculture expert believes the reason for the sheep circling is due to stress
- He said they may have circled after being left in a pen for a long period of time
The baffling mystery of the flock of sheep that was caught ambling in a continuous circle for a whole twelve days may have been solved.
The video of sheep in northern China went viral last week when footage showed them walking around in a clockwise circle for twelve days.
The perplexing spectacle captured in early November in the city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia left people shocked and confused as they tried to make sense of the behaviour in the viral clip.
However, Professor Matt Bell from the Department of Agriculture at Hartpury University in Gloucester has a theory about the display of odd behaviour.
The agriculture expert believes the reason for the circling may have been due to the sheep being stressed about being left in a pen for a long period of time.
A flock of sheep was caught walking round in a circle for a whole twelve days without stopping in northern China
The sheep can be seen ambling around in a continuous clockwise motion
The mysterious video was filmed in the city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia on November 4
An agriculture expert believes the reason for the circling may have been due to the sheep being stressed and left in a pen for a long period of time
Professor Bell gave Newsweek his theory for the baffling display: ‘It looks like the sheep are in the pen for long periods, and this might lead to stereotypic behavior, with the repeated circling due to frustration about being in the pen and limited [space].
‘This is not good. Then the other sheep join as they are flock animals and bond or join their friends.’
The sheep started displaying the odd behaviour from around November 4 and continued for a further twelve days.
The owner of the sheep, Ms Miao, said she was left dumbfounded by her flock’s pattern.
Ms Miao said it originally started with just a few sheep before other members of the flock joined in.
In the footage, filmed from the farm’s CCTV, hundreds of sheep were seen following one another around in a circle.
Other sheep are stood in the middle of a circle, with some eventually deciding to join the display. Others remained at the very centre of the circle staying completely still.
Another video of the sheep showed another perspective of the odd behaviour
There are 34 sheep pens at the farm, but only the sheep in the number 13 pen moved in the circulating spectacle
The owner of the sheep, Ms Miao, was left dumbfounded by her flock’s pattern
Other theories suggested that the sheep were behaving in such an odd way due to a bacterial disease
There are 34 sheep pens at the farm, but only the sheep in the number 13 pen moved in the circulating spectacle.
Other theories suggested that the sheep were behaving in such an odd way due to a bacterial disease.
Listeriosis is a disease that causes some animals to appear disorientated and start circling. The bacteria can inflame one side of the brain and cause the sheep to behave in the perplexing way.
Sheep in East Sussex caused a similar stir last year when they were spotted standing in concentric circles.
Hundreds of sheep have caused a stir after they were spotted standing in concentric circles in Rottingdean, East Sussex in 2021
The father-of-one later shared photos of the unusual occurrence to Facebook before dozens of social media users claimed it looked like an ‘alien ship’ in 2021
However, this time a sheep snacker, a type of livestock feeder, had caused the display after dispensing the food in a circle across the field.
Scientists have long studied as to why some other animals like sharks and turtles move in circular patterns. However, they are yet to land on a conclusion as to the reason.