Moroccan goats perched on trees

The Amazing Tale Of Moroccan Goats That Climb Trees

When even the smallest detail is important

It is a highly unique and entertaining sight for visitors to Morocco’s Sous Valley to observe goats perched on trees. It’s not birds that make up the branches and trunks of rather tall trees; it’s goats. Such a show rarely leaves viewers unimpressed or uninterested. People grab their cameras and pose for photos next to the acrobatic goats. Many actual pictures of a herd grazing in a tree stand may be found online.

A lot of folks have very good questions. What kind of goats possess such remarkable skills? Why do they consume in this manner? In this essay, we’ll attempt to address them.

Climate and locational characteristics

Morocco has extreme heat and aridity. The temperature and weather are not favorable for the growth of lush vegetation. As a result, the area has limited livestock forage. Although the country has very little grassland, many residents strive to make a living by raising livestock.

Most goats hanging from tree branches can be found in the area between the towns of Agadir and Essaouira. Here are the communities of Afra and Imzi. The area, which is in the southwest of Morocco, has a noticeably arid climate. Rarely would farming be practical there? There is hardly any greenery in this part of the nation.

Additionally, the plants and shrubs that endure a nearly continual drought are not particularly succulent. Most of them have thorny branches. However, certain species do produce fruit that animals can consume.

What draws goats to the argan trees?

As you travel across Morocco, you may notice goats hanging out on the branches of Argan trees and munching on a fruit that resembles a green or brown bean. Since the tree is spiky and covered in thorns, many animals would stay away from it, but these goats are determined to get to the luscious fruit. The kids with cloven hooves are actually motivated to climb by their love of the fruit.

The country’s natural food supplies for animals are scarce, therefore the goats are keen to attend this amazing feast. They will ascend up into the branches and eat whatever is left after they have consumed all of the low-hanging fruit for the season.

In Morocco, what kinds of trees do goats climb?

Goats have discovered a technique to eat the argan tree’s fruit in their search for food. The tree is nearly ubiquitous in southwest Morocco and has adapted to the region’s severe, arid climate.

Argan trees reach maturity at a height of roughly ten meters. Several meters away from the stem, their branches extend widely. The crown looks like a plum tree because of its juicy fruit and foliage. The goats in the area that climb trees are skilled at devouring these fruits. They deftly scale the branches and dine there.

The seeds of the argan fruit are extremely valuable. They are used to make argan oil, one of the priciest vegetable oils. On the international market, a liter of it may cost up to $100. Cooking, cosmetics, and medicine both use oil.
When goats graze on argan trees, they just spit the seeds out rather than eat them. They are not appetizing to goats since their digestive systems cannot process them.

Of course, the animals’ contact with the argan fruit pips is not used to create the pricey oil. If not, herders might just pick them up and profit handsomely.

Defense of Argania trees

Morocco was chosen by Unesco as a biosphere reserve in 1999. The Argan trees, which grow in such challenging climatic conditions, are to be protected.

Thankfully, eating the tree’s leaves and fruits is still permitted for animals. After all, when the goats come into contact with the branches, they pick up plant seeds and carry them around on their fur. They contribute to a rise in the number of trees in this way.

Periodically, a shepherd must drive the herd away from one tree and lead it to another.
The truth is that even a tiny herd of 8 or 10 goats may finish off a large, sprawling tree’s leaves in a matter of hours. The plant will eventually die as a result of this. Shepherds must therefore drive their flock away from the Argan and stop the leaves on the crown from being entirely destroyed.

What kind of goats do Moroccans use to scale trees?

And arguably the most important query for everybody who has seen photos or witnessed animals in Moroccan trees firsthand is: what breed of goats are they? In reality, the Moroccan goat is a rather common breed. They are not the only animal with acrobatic abilities. Just about every animal, including goats, has a superb sense of balance. This explains why goats of all ages, including young ones, can balance readily on tree trunks and branches.

Such an image may seem unusual to many who reside in more temperate climates. The grassland is a plentiful source of feed for agricultural animals. Goats are frequently spotted happily grazing on grass. It turns out, however, that common goats are quite capable of climbing trees and moving around on sturdy branches. And the only things that push them there are their inventiveness and tenacity in looking for food.

What part tourism plays

Tourism is another factor contributing to the presence of goats in the forests. It used to be that farmers would encourage them to leap up so that they could help “clean” the argan seeds, but nowadays it’s more about luring tourists to view the curiously behaving quadrupeds and their merry chomping. For activities like taking photos or posing with the goats, many of the farms ask a fee. While passing through on their way to other Moroccan places, tour buses bring people in to observe the goats, and the tour companies pay the farmers a tip or stipend in exchange. A payment request might be made if you try to capture a picture without paying.

How can I see the goats the best?

Make your vacation arrangements in Morocco with us if you want to see these animals climbing the Argania tree. usually through one of the major cities with an airport.

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Get off the main highways and into the mountains for your best chance of spotting these bearded climbers, though the Argania or Argan trees may be found growing throughout the highlands of this region.

Late spring and early summer are the greatest times to see goats climbing around on the trees because the Argan fruit ripens around June. They can be spotted higher in the trees at other times of the year, however, sightings are less common. Remember that authorities have strict regulations on who is allowed to pick the fruit if you’re tempted to take some of it home with you. Instead, keep your photos or objects made of well-sealed argan oil as souvenirs.

Moroccan Goats Climb Trees: Why?

You could see some goats munching on some green or brown bean-like fruit as you drive across Morocco, hanging out on the branches of the Argania, or argan, trees. Many animals wouldn’t try climbing the spiky, thorny tree, but these goats are doing it for the delectable fruit. In reality, the children with cloven hooves are only persuaded to climb by their enjoyment of the fruit.

The goats are pretty determined to get to this wonderful feast because the country’s natural food sources for animals might be scarce. If they have consumed all of the season’s low-hanging fruit, they will climb up into the trees and begin eating whatever is left.

Why Argan Oil Is Important

Argan oil, which has cosmetic and culinary uses, is made from the nut of the Argania tree. Therefore, despite the fact that you might expect Argania tree growers to forbid these hairy creatures from eating the fruit, many landowners actually encourage them to do so for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is argan oil.
Despite how much they like eating the fruit’s seed, goats simply cannot digest it. However, the fruit and skin are stripped away as they eat them. The seed is then either cleaned or spit out or one that has been “softened” by passing through the digestive tract.

Frequently asked questions by our visitors

If you have questions, here we have compiled for you some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our travelers:

From Essaouira to Agadir, you can travel through the southwest of Morocco and witness goats perched on trees.

To get the Argan fruits and leaves, goats are perched in trees.

Finding The Goats

The mountains in this area are covered in Argania trees, but if you want to see these bearded climbers, you should leave the heavily traveled routes and head into the mountains.
The greatest times to view goats climbing around in the trees will be in the late spring and early summer because the Argan fruit is ready in June. At other times of the year, you can see them higher in the trees, but sightings aren’t as frequent.

And if you’re tempted to take some of the fruit with you, remember that authorities have stringent rules on who is allowed to pick the fruit. Instead of buying souvenirs, instead of well-sealed argan oil items or your images.

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