Moses, a two-year-old ram, looks up from munching on grass to give police the once-over while they waited for his owner to come home and pen him Tuesday south of Nanaimo. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Vancouver Island sheep gets loose and rams children

Incident happened Tuesday south of Nanaimo

Two young children and their daycare giver are reportedly OK after they were allegedly attacked by a large sheep.

The incidednt happened shortly before 11:30 a.m. when a the children and their caregiver stopped to visit Moses, a two-year-old ram that lives at a property on Grandom Road in South Wellington, south of Nanaimo, on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Moses got free of his pen and butted and injured his visitors, prompting calls for emergency services. One woman and two small children were taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Nanaimo RCMP members stood by to keep a wary eye on Moses at a safe distance while the sheep munched grass on the front lawn and in a ditch at the front of his home while they awaited the return of his owner.

“I’ve lived here 12 years and I’ve never seen any problem with the sheep there at all,” said Don Vanier, a neighbour walking by to get his mail.

When asked if he knew Moses well, he replied, “No. No, we don’t get along,” but he conceded Moses was not known to be a troublemaker.

“I get along with my neighbours, even the sheep,” Vanier said.

When Moses’s owner Crystal Hanson arrived home he greeted her like a dog happy to see his master and raced over to a freezer in her carport where she keeps treats for him. Hanson secured Moses in his pen while police informed her what had transpired.

Hanson said she’d received a call at work that Moses had gotten loose in the neighbourhood and was ramming people. She said his ramming behaviour is not that unusual, but he normally confined it to her as a form of play.

“He loves visitors and I think what happened is they were visiting with him and he decided he was going to get more of a visit and pushed his way out because he really does like attention,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she had been informed by the RCMP the children and their caregiver were shaken up, but not seriously injured, although she admitted to being shaken by the phone call from the police.

Hanson said Moses had escaped his pen just once before.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, confirmed that one woman and two small children were taken to hospital by B.C. Ambulance to be checked over for minor injuries.

“Two small children, a boy and girl, were out for a walk with their daycare operator when the sheep, for unknown reasons, attacked them and knocked all three to the ground,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said the trio were extremely upset by the incident.

“But they managed to get to their feet, out of the area and call 911 … it appears it’s an isolated incident and the owner was genuinely upset and remorseful and has taken corrective measures to make sure Moses does not escape again,” he said. “Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.”

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