HALIFAX -- A spooked sheep caused a brief stir in Halifax's west end Friday.

The animal was photographed wandering alone among the dirty snowbanks in the Halifax Forum parking lot, and was soon inspiring multiple hashtags on social media.

The sheep was part of a petting zoo at a show organized by Little Ray's Reptile Zoo, and became spooked.

"When they were unloading it, he got a little spooked and jumped over the fence," said Paul "Little Ray" Goulet, director of the Ottawa-based centre.

"When he jumped the fence, he ran for five seconds, and then he was kind of like, whoa. Hold on a second. It was very fast."

Goulet said the sheep was free for perhaps two minutes and got no more than 30 metres.

The sheep belongs to Nashwaak Valley Farms, and one of their people was able to walk him back, he said.

"He's a farm animal. It's not uncommon for a farm animal to get on the other side of a fence. But as with most of them, they know inside the fence is where they have shelter and food," said Goulet.

"We're happy he didn't run out on the road and get hit by a car. That would have been a terrible thing."

Halifax regional police said they responded to the scene, but were too late.

"We did attend an animal complaint call ... in relation to a loose sheep, however he or she was located by its owner prior to police arrival," said Const. Dianne Penfound.