Editor’s Note: This post by Chris Dolley from 2010 would be equally at home in our critter picture series that runs on Wednesdays.
What, naked free climbers? Extreme sport naturists? Italians?
Take a closer look at the picture and you’ll see the dam wall is dotted with climbers – eighteen of them. And they do it every day. Not ‘because it’s there’ but for the love of lichens. And a little moss and salt. They’re Alpine ibex goats.
Animal behaviourists, though, are beginning to suspect that food may not be the only reason for the goats’ love of extreme mountain climbing. There has been an unprecedented increase in daredevil goat behaviour this last decade. Some say it’s because of global warming. Or human encroachment upon their natural mountain habitat – forcing the goats into the edges of towns and cities where they can free climb on houses and tower blocks.
Others blame it on the rise of reality TV and the cult of celebrity, suggesting that more and more young goats are having their heads turned by the promise of fame and endless supply of lichens. It’s been noticed that some goats will do anything to be photographed.
If you thought caterpillars were the worst pest you could find in your prize fruit tree, think again.
Send for the kitties!
Chris Dolley writes a number of things, most of them very funny.