A RARE sheep, thought to be the only one of its breed in the UK, could be condemned to a life of celibacy if a mate cannot be found.

The lonely four-year-old Mouflon ram – recognisable for its distinctive horns – has grazed on a farm near Masham, North Yorkshire, for most of its life.

Farm tenant Lisa Walton says the animal, known as Muffie, is becoming a destructive influence in the field, resorting to headbutting other animals in his longing for a mate.

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Mouflon sheep originate from warmer climes, particularly the Mediterranean.

The rest of Muffie’s herd died a long time ago, leaving him alone.

Mrs Walton says Muffie is showing signs of being ready to reproduce and is looking for a breeder to offer him a home.

She said: “It would be nice if a breeder could take him, as he is in full working order in that department, if you know what I mean.

“He needs to be fenced in with a high fence and preferably with a good area to run around in with some shelter – he winters out very well and does not eat much.

“His traits are very much the same of a goat and he is free to a good home, with perhaps a small donation to an animal charity.

“He preferably needs company as he is very lonely on his own, but he is in fantastic condition.”

Muffie’s owner, landowner Ian Harmer, is reluctant to have the animal destroyed if a mate cannot be found.

He said: “He can live out his days in the field if need be, or we could have it neutered and put it in with other sheep.

“Although it is several generations into domesticity, this is still a wild animal and its wilder nature sometimes comes to the fore.”

Mr Harmer bought a flock of Mouflon about 20 years ago, with Muffie the last of the line after years of interbreeding.

He said: “At the moment, the only company he has is from the horses that use the field.

“He has demolished a gatepost out of sheer frustration.

“It would be a crying shame if he was destined to live out his days without a mate.”

Anyone who can help is asked to call Mr Harmer, on 01677-460237.