HUBBARD LAKE - There has been no sign of a rare Jacob ram with massive horns that has been missing for 10 days from a pasture off Scott Road in Hubbard Lake
Farmer Edie Abbott said she noticed the brown-and-white spotted creature absent from her herd around July 2 and she and her family immediately began searching for him in the dense woods and surrounding meadows.
The effort failed to reveal any clues to his fate, but the Abbotts found an electric gate had been left partially open. They also found car tire tracks in the dirt. The pasture is out of sight in the 4800 block of Scott Road.
According to a photo, the four-year-old ram is white with brown spots, and is a breed that dates back to Biblical times. He has black markings on his feet, large markings around his eyes, and a black muzzle. But his most notable trait is two pairs of large horns. One set is positioned at the top of his head, while side horns curl down from in front of his ears.
Some Jacob rams are know to have six massive horns, Abbott said.
Abbott said the ram was very friendly and liked to eat treats out of visitors' hands. He also provided a sense of protection to the rest of the herd. Now that he is missing, the flock has been flighty and unsettled.
Abbott, an organic farmer, said she bought the flock a few months after a fire destroyed her barn and livestock Feb. 1.
"The only thing left were the horses, who were in a lean-to, and the pigs, which broke out of the barn," she said.
The disaster left her grieving for months, family members said. Then, in late March, she began thinking about starting over. Abbott raises organic livestock and poultry on her family's 100-acre farm, producing organic meat, wool, eggs and milk for customers.
After posting a request for livestock through Craigslist, Abbott found out about the rare sheep being sold by a couple in Kewadin.
"There are so few of them I was thrilled to get them," she said. "As soon as I got the animals, it was like the sun came out again."
Now she is posting information on Craigslist, asking for the animal's return.
Abbott said she has been contacted so far by a Rogers City woman, who lost a male goat and a Jacob ram about the same time last year. Abbott said she fears the animals are wanted for their horns and have been killed.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.