FESTUS, MO (KPLR) – Just a little south of Festus, residents have spotted an animal you`d expect to find a long way west of Festus.
It`s a Ram.
And he has got people talking.
'We have a lot of wildlife around here, but that`s nothing like I had ever seen in our neighborhood,' said Tracy Patterson, who lives in the heavily wooded Sugar Springs subdivision.
On Saturday morning, Patterson saw what she thought was a deer in her yard, but the nearer she got, the more obvious it became she was having a Close Encounter of the 'Herd' Kind.
Her 12-year-old daughter Dakota saw it too.
'When I walked outside, my mom was freaking out, telling me not to move, and I thought it was just a deer in the road and she was overreacting and it ended up being a Ram,' Dakota Patterson said.
'It was really weird.'
And according to Missouri Conservation Department agent Dan Zarlenga, pretty rare.
'An animal like that would be very unusual to see here in Missouri, and there is no chance of it happening naturally,' Zarlenga said.
'One can assume maybe it may be someone`s pet that escaped or maybe it is an animal from a petting zoo or some kind of agricultural sheep raising operation, hard to say,' he said.
Tracy Patterson sheepishly admits she tried to calling the Ram to her like a dog.
'It`s a little crazy. We are a little Ram obsessed right now,' she said. 'We look for him all the time because he was been sighted a few more times after we had seen him.'
FOX 2 News sent the photos Tracy Patterson took to the St. Louis Zoo, where experts concluded the Ram in the picture is a Barbados Black Belly Sheep.
Dakota Patterson still finds it hard to believe.
'It was mind-blowing. I never thought I`d see something like that at my house,' she said.
'At the zoo, but not my house.'