And you thought going to the grocery store after work was a hassle. These brave little climbers are Alpine ibex showing off their exceptional wall-scaling skills on the 160-foot-tall Cingino Dam in Italy. They risk life and hoof to get to the dam’s salt-encrusted stones which help supplement the goats’ low-salt grazing diet.
Some of these photos have been circulating in chain emails which claim that the goats pictured are climbing the Buffalo Bill dam in Wyoming. However, while the pictures are genuine, this description is entirely inaccurate.
The ibex in the pictures are wild mountain goats that live in very steep, rocky environments. To them, climbing nearly-vertical walls of rock is an everyday activity. They have wall-scaling skills to rival Spider-man and bravery to match any human rock climber.
(all images via: Inhabitat and National Geographic)
To some people, these pictures are proof that nature will always find a way to thrive regardless of human intervention. To others, these images speak to the utter devastation of worldwide environments by man-made structures and encroaching civilization. No matter which side of the debate you are on, it is clear that these goats are making the best of their situation and using the available resources to get what they need in their diets.
After enjoying their fill of the salt and other minerals clinging to the stones of the dam, the goats are able to make their way safely back down to level land. Good thing they’re not afflicted with the fainting gene like some of their cousins, or the base of that dam would be a truly gruesome sight.