Sheep Sentenced to Serve Three Years at Military Camp For Killing Woman

A ram in South Sudan will spend three years at a military camp as punishment for killing a woman earlier this month, according to multiple reports.

Speaking to local media, Major Elijah Mabor said the ram attacked 45-year-old Adhieu Chaping by hitting her repeatedly in the ribs. She later died as a result of her injuries.

Following the attack, the ram was apprehended and placed under police custody, LADbible said.

"Our role as police is to provide safety and separate fights," said Mabor via LADbible. "The owner is innocent [but] the ram is the one who perpetrated the crime so it deserves to be arrested then later on the case shall be forwarded to customary court where the case can be handled amicably."

Ram
A ram in South Sudan will spend three years at a military camp as punishment for killing a woman earlier this month. William Watson/istock

Despite being "innocent," a local court ruled that the ram's owner, Duony Manyang Dhal, will be forced to hand over five cows to the victim's family as compensation.

Cows as Currency

In South Sudan, cows are the "preferred form of currency," according to NPR. In a conversation with the radio station, a man named Machien Luoi explained that cows are used to buy homes and pay dowries, among other large purchases.

Cows as a bank account makes sense in a country where banks go bankrupt. And a volatile climate and frequent fighting means that you need a type of wealth that you can run away with.
NPR

"Cows as a bank account makes sense in a country where banks go bankrupt. And a volatile climate and frequent fighting means that you need a type of wealth that you can run away with," NPR explained.

In a statement to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the importance of cattle in South Sudan, Joseph Tongun Philimon, an ICRC veterinarian, said, "Without livestock in South Sudan, it's like you're not a human being. It's like you're not South Sudanese."

The Agreement

In addition to receiving five cows, local laws also dictate that "any domestic animal that kills a person is then given as compensation to the victim's family," said Unilad, meaning Chaping's family will also take ownership of the ram once it's served its three-year sentence.

"Both families have since signed a contract to formalize the agreement with police and community leaders acted as witnesses," LADbible stated.

Sadly, Chapin isn't the first woman to be killed by a sheep. In December, an elderly volunteer at a Massachusetts farm died after being repeatedly rammed by one of the sheep.

In another bizarre yet tragic animal-related incident, two people died in March after being attacked by a loose camel on a farm in Tennessee.

And as it turns out, Dhal's ram isn't the first animal to be arrested. A cat named Miska was once placed in "kitty jail" after being accused of trespassing.