Goats on dam wall photo on tablet screen
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‘Bighorn Sheep’ On Dam Wall Photographs

by Brett M. Christensen


Message claims that attached images depict Bighorn Sheep climbing on a very steep dam wall. 

Brief Analysis

The photographs are genuine, but they do not show Bighorn Sheep. The animals in the photographs are Alpine Ibex. The structure shown in the images is the Cingino Dam in Italy.


Subject: Bighorn Sheep taking a stroll

See those little black spots on the face of that dam? Look closely.

Ibex on dam wall 1

Ibex on dam wall 2

Ibex on dam wall 3


Detailed Analysis

According to this widely circulated message, attached images show Bighorn Sheep “strolling” across a very steep dam wall. Some versions, including the one shown above, do not identify the dam in the images. Others identify the dam as the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshoni River at Cody, Wyoming or, more vaguely, as “a dam in Montana”.

The images are genuine. However, the animals in the photographs are in fact Alpine Ibex (Capra Ibex), not Bighorn sheep. Moreover, the dam is the Cingino Dam in the Italian Alps. 
An article about Alpine Ibex on The Large Herbivore Network website notes:

Alpine ibex typically inhabit open, rocky habitats at high altitude, above the tree line at an altitude of 1,600-3,200 m. Steep, south-facing slops with rugged topography and grassy vegetation are preferred. Below the tree line, at subalpine levels, ibex are only found in open, sunny woodland interspersed with rocky outcrops. Living in montane pastures Ibex feed on alpine grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs. This species is diurnal, but most active during the early morning and late afternoon. They migrate seasonally to different altitudes, spending the harsher winter months at medium elevations.

These agile animals apparently scale dam walls in order to lick salt off the rock. The following YouTube video shows the animals in action at Cingino Dam:

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,