Mobbed by Goats and Sheep

We had just reached Kara campsite at 3pm. The campsite was surrounded by hills on all sides. There were hundreds of goats and sheep grazing in the vicinity. Far away, we could see 3-4 Shepherds and Sheep dogs. We dropped our day packs on the ground and quenched our thirst from the nearby stream. We were just about to set up our tent, when Ashwin offered to get some water from the stream to refill the camp stock. No sooner than he picked up the large plastic transparent jar, he got mobbed by hundreds of goats and sheep! [Video at the end of this post]

An amused Ashwin first thought he would outrun the herd.

They came down running from all higher grounds nearby and surrounded him completely. In retrospect, it seemed like watching a funny version of the Dothraki horses surrounding Daenerys when she gets lost in the mountains. Ashwin was caught by surprise and was completely amused!

He finally gave in to their demands! But he had no salt to give!

I too watched in amusement and wonder, the strange behavior of the goats and sheep. “Uske paas namak hai, socha hoga“, said our guide from behind me. The goats and sheep thought Ashwin has salt?! What does that mean!?

That is when I learnt that goats and sheep have a craving for salt. The Shepherds informed us that eating salt occasionally keeps them healthy and also leads to them graze better. So they are fed salt time to time by the Shepherds.

The Shepherds directed the goats and sheep towards them by actually giving them their daily quota of salt!

Out of curiosity, I later read up the importance of sodium (salt) in goats/sheep. It is required to maintain osmotic pressure, regulates blood pH, aids in muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission among other functions! But the most interesting fact was knowing about their strong craving for salt! Only that could explain this strange behaviour!!

Enjoy the video!

A fun sight to see! Ashwin sure enjoyed it!

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My name is Adithi Muralidhar. I am a nature enthusiast based in Mumbai, India.

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