Goats have a long had a reputation for climbing steep and treacherous terrain with remarkable balance. But trees? Yes these amazing animals are actually real, and have evolved into quite the arboreal ascenders, as they climb the “Argan” trees of Morocco in hopes of scoring the fruits of their branches, which are located in a food sparse region.
In watching video footage, one can see that the animals traipse across the trees with a sure-footed poise that is hard to imagine being possible for a hoofed creature. In one segment, a younger goat runs down the near vertical slope of a large tree before hopping lightly onto the ground below, while shortly after, another goat jumps from a higher set of branches to land on its feet, much like a cat.
Interestingly, the droppings of the goats have become somewhat of a delicacy, as they contain seed kernels that are used by locals to press and grind into oil. The fecal produced oil has a number of uses including culinary, (yes, these people eat it) and cosmetic (yes, they also smear it all over their bodies). For a quarter-liter bottle of this goat-digested kernel-oil you can expect to pay between 15 – 50 dollars.
Unfortunately, the goats beloved Argan tree are slowly being over-harvested, so if you want to sample that goat oil, or just see the climbing creatures in action, you may need to get a move on.
Morocco has been on our travel short list for a while now…