Area of zoo
Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Ovis aries

We have a small herd of 3 male Manx loaghtan sheep here at Whipsnade called 'Ewan', 'Hamish' and 'Angus'.

Manx loaghtan sheep facts

  • The word loaghtan comes from the Manx ‘lugh dhoan’ which means mouse brown and describes the colour of the sheep's fleece.
  • Manx loaghtan sheep are believed to be the closest remaining relative of the now extinct Jersey sheep.
  • The fleece from Manx loaghtan sheep can be turned into incredibly soft and luxurious wool.
Manx loaghtan sheep at Whipsnade zoo
Manx loaghtan sheep at Whipsnade zoo

What do Manx loaghtan sheep look like?

Manx loaghtan are a small breed of sheep with brown fleece and a short tail. They have a unique fleece colour called 'moorit', ranging from light fawn to a deep reddish brown which can lighten in the sun. They also have dark brown faces and legs but don't produce wool on these areas. Both males and females can have horns, with four being the most common number but two or even six horns are also possible!

What do Manx loaghtan sheep eat?

Manx loaghtans are herbivores and like to graze on natural grasses, herbs, and wildflowers.

Where are Manx loaghtan sheep from?

Manx loaghtan sheep are a rare breed native to the Isle of Man. They have been roaming the Isle of Man's hills and mountains for centuries, and are likely descended from ancient short-tailed breeds of sheep from north western Europe.

Meet the Sheep

Come and meet our fleecy friends on your next trip to Whipsnade Zoo.