Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Nordic Ark, July 12th 2008. Part Five

The next exhibit was the Rocky Mountain Goat (Oreamnus americanus), which apparently are not actually goats, but more closely related to the antelopes. The Ark has three of these goats, two males and one female. They had beautiful white fur and were surprisingly large. The males were climbing and grazing and sometimes mock-fighting a little, and the female was resting. Like most of the animals we saw they were completely unconcerned by their human observers.

The main difference between the sexes in this species is that the males have horns and the females don't. So obviously the horns must be used exclusively for fighting. These two played at fighting a little bit, but it was easy to see that they didn't really mean it. :-)

Their enclosure was fantastic, so much rock and cliff to climb on ... and it was several times bigger than we initially thought it was.

The female was resting in the shade. She was the sensible one, unsurprisingly. ;-) She obviously was still working on shedding her winter coat ... !

(Photo credit: top two, bottom: me; third from top: KAS)

No comments: