The Alpine Ibex was originally a mountain goat-like herbivore that lived in the highest peaks of the European Alps. They use pincer-like hooves, plus nimble agility to conquer the steepest cliffs. This also helps them avoid most predators.
However, the ability to climb almost vertical cliffs of the Alpine Ibex goat is what makes many people admire.
The Cingino Dam, located in the Piedmont region of Italy, is just one of many dams built in European countries. But in the past few years, this place has accidentally become a tourist attraction since visitors shared videos or photos of mountain goats climbing the cliffs of nearly 90 degrees, 50 meters high, attracting the attention of tourists. attention from the online community.
When watching the videos, it is easy to understand why millions of people around the world are also fascinated.
In spring and summer, Alpine Ibex goats live in grassy or coniferous areas. Before the harsh winter arrives, they must accumulate fat and hide in the Alps to avoid the cold.
Like many other herbivores, this goat lacks essential salts and minerals because they are not found in the grass we eat every day. The higher the demand for salt, the more they have to search for themselves.
And the precious source of salt in nature lies in the walls of the dam. Although the dam is up to 50 meters high and steep walls, it does not make it difficult for the Alpine Ibex goat herd.
They are likened to a “master” climber when climbing quickly thanks to rubber-like foot pads and split hooves to help maintain balance. As a result, they enjoy the precious mineral salts located on the dam wall.
The video that attracted millions of views recorded the scene of a herd of goats standing precariously on the beating wall like “floating” in the air, making viewers’ hearts flutter.
Interestingly, despite being praised for its skillful climbing ability, not all Alpine Ibex goats are so agile. Usually, males are rarely seen on the cliffs. Due to their large body mass (up to 100 kg), and bulky horns, it is difficult to balance. It is common to see only females and juveniles appearing most often on the wall of the dam.
In the 19th century, due to overhunting for meat and healing horns, the Alpine Ibex goat population declined rapidly, to about 100 individuals in the western Alps.
Fortunately, thanks to conservation efforts and the establishment of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the goats returned to the area, multiplying and flourishing. To date, in the Alps there are about 50,000 individuals.