450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey

A 450 sheep pileup created havok in a Turkish province recently.

450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey (AP)

First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported. In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.

“There’s nothing we can do. They’re all wasted,” Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.

The estimated loss to families in the town of Gevas, located in Van province in eastern Turkey, tops $100,000, a significant amount of money in a country where average GDP per head is around $2,700.

“Every family had an average of 20 sheep,” Aksam quoted another villager, Abdullah Hazar as saying. “But now only a few families have sheep left. It’s going to be hard for us.”

I found the story just short of post-worthy until I saw Ann Althouse‘s take on the story: “Sheep are such sheep.”

crossposted to small dead animals because it just seemed fitting.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    If you can get a pic, I’ll bet there’s acaption contest in there somewhere.

  2. Kate says:

    Already the hooves of blame are being pointed – “I blame ewe!”

  3. Kent says:

    450 dead sheep?

    How did the reporter stay awake long enough to finish counting them?

  4. McGehee says:

    Wool ewe people fleece stop making jokes about this?

  5. ATM says:

    I guess sheep will jump off a cliff if they see another sheep jump off.