Animal expert shares advice for dealing with aggressive rams

Animal expert shares advice for dealing with aggressive rams

An animal behaviourist has warned people to be “really careful” during the breeding season after a ram was found in a paddock with a deceased elderly couple in West Auckland yesterday.

Yesterday morning a retired couple in their 80s were found deceased in a paddock at their rural property on Anzac Valley Rd in Waitākere.

Police confirmed the ram found in the paddock was attacking people, and was shot after confronting officers and injuring another person.

The matter is still under investigation to establish the full set of circumstances around what occurred.

Animal behaviourist Dr Elsa Flint from Animals with Attitude told Breakfast there have been incidents in the past of people being killed by rams due to “blunt force trauma”.

“They’ll run up behind [a person] and knock them over and maybe fractured a rib or similar. Then it’s whether they punctured a lung or other internal injury.”

She said her own ram Chino had a gentle nature, but had charged before when her back was turned.

“He always waited until your back was turned before butting you and knock[ing] the legs out from under you. So you know he’ll charge and knock you over, then turn to look at you as if saying ‘what are you doing there?'”

“It’s not a sustained attack normally with them, its normally just a very rapid, but quite violent attack.”

Flint said rams will become “much more reactive” and quite territorial during the breeding season.

“People really shouldn’t be going into paddocks with active rams in them,” she said.

She warned people to look out for “particularly aggressive” signs including hypervigilance such as the ram pacing up and down, looking agitated or approaching “with intent”.

“If you see that sort of behaviour around the fence line, you wouldn’t be going anywhere near them in the paddock.”

“Sometimes equally you can walk into the paddock and they just appear to be grazing.

“If you see them leaving the flock and walking towards you, it’s time to get out if you can fairly quickly,” Flint said.

“They don’t really do anything more, they’re not like cattle who call and snort and give you a lot of visual warning. They just tend to come towards you with intent, then speed up and charge.”

Flint shared an example of a shearer she knew who suffered a spinal injury as a result of being charged by a ram.

“You do have to be really careful, but I think you also have to remember that not every ram is going to be that aggressive.”

Federated Farmers spokesman Simon Cameron said yesterday that deaths due to farm animals were rare, but that mating season could make them more volatile.

“Hormones are all go in mating season, so they are more aggravated sometimes at this time of year.”

Cameron added the incident should serve as a reminder to all farmers to “take care”.

Animal expert shares advice for dealing with aggressive rams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top