You are here:  Home  >  Consider This  >  Current Article

Sheep Cross Hanging Bridges

By   /  June 17, 2019  /  Comments Off on Sheep Cross Hanging Bridges

    Print       Email

Farmers and ranchers everywhere face challenges when it comes to moving their stock, especially when it comes to crossing water. Shepherds have solved water crossing problems by building hanging bridges.

Here’s what that looks like for shepherds in Nepal. These Himalayan sheep are crossing a hanging bridge in Ghumliband, Rukum Nepal. A total of 687 sheep, 54 lambs and 5 shepherds made it across, with one swimming the river while the rest of the flock waited.

Bridges like this have also been used in the U.S. The hanging bridge over the Big Wood River in Idaho helped as many as 3,000 sheep a year move from desert country to mountain pastures. But in 2016 one of the cables snapped, making it unsafe for foot and hoof traffic. There’s no word on its repair.


The Verde River Sheep Bridge along Bloody Basin Road north of Phoenix, Arizona helped shepherds move their flocks between grazing ranges on either side of the Verde River. It was built in 1943 and was actively used until 1984. A shortage of Basque shepherds, imported lamb and mutton from New Zealand, and the development of synthetic fibers that replaced wool drove the graziers using these allotments out of business. The bridge was demolished in 1987 and replaced with a replica that hikers use to visit the Mazatzal Wilderness in Tonto National Forest.

Do you have examples of moving animals in unusual ways? Let us know!

    Print       Email

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

You might also like...

Why Do We Do Things the Hard Way?

Read More →
Translate »