Goats in Trees Morocco

You’ll encounter all kinds of surprising creatures while traveling the globe. You might go to places like Australia, where sugar gliders soar through the air and quokkas cuddles up to visitors on Rottnest Island in the hopes of getting some fresh greens from the Melaleuca bush tops nearby. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll set your sights on destinations like that.

Yet, the tree-climbing goats of Morocco are just one of many fascinating animal situations found throughout the globe.

A visit to Morocco’s tree-dwelling goats is required for some visitors when their trip is over. Nonetheless, the tourist attraction in the Souss Valley near Taroudant, in the country’s south, isn’t what it seems to be in photos, according to one environmentalist.

Aaron Gekoski, a British environmentalist and photographer, told the Telegraph that he suspects Moroccan farmers may push goats into trees to draw visitors. Farmers charge visitors to take photographs of the animals, according to the environmentalists.

What are Tree Climbing Goats?

Goats are by nature very good climbers, and these goats don’t have any particular skill; they’re just really sure-footed and smart (or perhaps foolish?)

Goats have evolved to be extremely bold climbers in areas where the terrain is dangerous.

Instead of using their mountain climbing abilities to scale the peaks, these Moroccan goats have adapted them to argan trees. As you can imagine, these tree-faring goats have drawn a lot of attention from passers-by.

Goat lovers should book a trip to Morocco to see these magnificent tree goats, which are only found in the country.

But, since it is forbidden to climb the trees between May and August, make sure not to visit. That is according to an alliance formed in 1995 to protect the valuable argan wood.

Just import an argan tree, buy a few goats (avoid the Tennessee fainting goats if you don’t want a bit more excitement), and presto — you have yourself a wonderful, live-action lawn ornament!

Why Do Moroccan Goats Climb Trees?

You may catch a glimpse of goats hanging out on the Argania — or argan — trees’ branches, eating green or brown bean-like fruit as you travel across Morocco.

A lot of animals would never dare climb the tree because it is prickly and thorny, so the goats are in luck since they can eat the fruit. The cloven-hooved youngsters are persuaded to climb by their love of the fruit.

The goats are especially eager to get to this delicious supper since the country’s natural food sources for animals are limited. They’ll climb up into the branches and begin eating whatever is available if they’ve already consumed all of the season’s low-hanging fruit.

What are the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and where are they located?

Morocco is home to the Atlas Mountains. They cover thousands of kilometers and include some of the world’s tallest peaks. From snow-capped mountains to dry deserts, the climate and topography vary significantly.

Barbary goats are a unique breed of goats that live in the Atlas Mountains. These goats are well-suited to the mountains’ difficult environment.

They have hard hooves that help them grip the rocky terrain, and their thick fur protects them from the cold.

Goats in this part of Morocco commonly climb Argania spinosa trees

According to Culture Trip, argan trees are most prevalent in the Souss Valley. According to Culture Trip, the trees produce fruit seeds within yellow nuts each year when they bloom with tiny yellow flowers. Goats in Morocco are said to adore the fruit, despite the fact that humans may not consume it. The fruit’s pulp attracts them, and they climb argan trees to eat it at the top.

Because food in the area can be difficult for animals to come by, Culture Trip describes the fruit as “a meal that [goats] both enjoy and do not need to compete for.”

The goats’ diet, on the other hand, helps to produce Argan oil, which they don’t know. The goats consume argan nuts but are unable to digest them, resulting in their waste, according to Culture Trip. Argan oil may be pressed from locally cultivated nuts. For 150 milliliters, the completed product can cost up to $20.

To discourage goats from eating the developing fruit, some argan-oil producers are reported to bring them away from the trees.

What benefits do the goats get from climbing trees?

The argan fruit and nuts from the tree are eaten by the goats. Argan oil is extracted from argan trees. Goats adore these oil-rich kernels, and humans alike desire them. The goat’s digestive system makes it easier to split the nut.

Goat climbing has its hazards. They might sustain serious injuries or death if they fall. When goats climb trees, it appears to be nothing more than a harmless activity that animals do. However, you should not distract them while they get or seek argan oil. Let the animals do as they please while they’re working.

The Atlas Mountains of Morocco provide a view of these climbing goats. Many shops in the neighborhood also sell Barbary goat souvenirs.

How To See The Goats

You’ll first travel to Morocco, often through one of the bigger cities with an airport, to see these creatures scaling the limbs of the Argania tree.

You’ll need to travel south of Marrakech to the Souss-Massa-Draa region once you’re in-country. Agadir, Essaouira, and the fortified market city of Taroudant are among the popular tourist attractions in the region that you will want to visit.

Although you may see Argania trees growing in the highlands, it is best to leave the well-traveled highways and explore the hilly places for the most likely sightings of these bearded climbers.

The best times to watch the goats climbing around in the trees will be late spring and early summer, when the Argan fruit is ripe in June. At other times of the year, you may see them higher in the trees, although sightings are less consistent.

Moreover, know that governing bodies have stringent rules concerning who may collect the fruit if you’re tempted to take some with you. Instead of taking photos, take advantage of the well-sealed argan oil products.

Morocco is a destination country for you? From Marrakech, learn how to explore the Sahara Desert.

Some Moroccan farmers are said to be tying goats to trees to attract tourists

Farmers, according to Gekoski, exploited the animals by luring visitors with them.

Some unscrupulous farmers, he told the Telegraph, have decided to manipulate the situation for financial gain after seeing tourists’ interest in tree-dwelling goats. Farmers transport goats from other parts of Morocco and then use them to climb “prefabricated platforms in the trees,” according to Gekoski.

[Farmers] will bring the goats home in the late afternoon and return them to the trees at sunrise, according to Gekoski.

Although Gekoski claims that the goats are “often swapped halfway through the day when they get tired,” several do not seem to be well.

While generally they simply stand in one place, looking rather sick and forlorn, the goats are exceedingly nimble and graceful when it comes to navigating the trees, according to Gekoski.

There were practically no senior goats, which I heard get consumed, he warned. “It’s very intense labor being in a tree all day, and the goats are generally in poor shape and lanky.”

The Role Of Modern Tourism

Another major cause of goats in the trees is tourism. Traditionally, farmers encouraged them to jump up so they may participate in the “cleaning” of the argan seeds, but today it is more about drawing tourists to witness the unusually behaving quadrupeds and their joyful munching.

A number of the farmers charge for a variety of services, such as photographing the goats and so on. Tour operators pay farmers a stipend or tip for allowing sightseers to come by for the halt on the way to other Moroccan attractions, and tour buses bring in groups to view the goats.

Know that you may be asked for money if you try to take a photo without paying.

tourists might not be fully aware of the nature of the tree-dwelling goats

Gekoski isn’t sure that visitors have any idea why the goats climb trees, despite the fact that they may understand why. Tourists in Morocco, according to the environmentalist, appeared to be unaware that some goats may not do so of their own accord.

According to Gekoski, all of the tourists who visited seemed blissfully unaware, exclaiming “oohed” and “ahhed” before posing for pictures and selfies.

He claimed that it appears that photographing with the goats is encouraged.

Farmers will also give over young goats, known as kids, for picture opportunities, Gekoski added. Not only may tourists capture photos in front of the trees, but “farmers will also provide.”

Do goats ever get hurt?

Clients who wish to see the tree-climbing goats are often disappointed, according to Elaamrani. Some individuals find it uncomfortable. They’re concerned that the goats are able to enter and leave the trees. They want to know if they’ll be hurt in the future.

Goats are hardy, says Adnan El Aji, a doctor in Essaouira, and can endure challenges like heat and water shortage. However, heat stress and dehydration can occur if they are forced to stand in trees for hours during Morocco’s summers, when temperatures may reach hundreds.

And the animals may be injured if they fall out of trees. He recounts the story of a goat that had fallen and was unable to walk, which was paid for by a tourist.

The Role Of Argan Oil

Argan oil, which is utilized for cosmetics and cooking, comes from the Argania tree’s nut. Many landowners encourage the consumption of the fruit by these hairy creatures for a variety of reasons, despite the fact that farmers in Argania trees would discourage it. Argan oil is the first ingredient on the list.

Goats, no matter how much they like the fruit, can’t digest the fruit’s seed. However, the skin and fruit are stripped away by their munching. The seed is then swallowed or spat out, resulting in a germinated seed that has passed via their digestive system and been “softened.”

The nuts are usable for producing argan oil because to this softening of the seeds, which is aided by goat digestive fluids.

You know that argan oil isn’t the only thing humans consume that comes from, well, poop if you’ve ever heard about two of the world’s most expensive coffees: Kopi Luwak or Black Ivory.

You may be relieved to hear that the excreted seeds are frequently transformed into cosmetics rather than cooking oil, so if you’re rethinking your argan cooking oil goods right now, you may be happy. To avoid the “ick” factor, the remaining portion is “filtered” in other ways.

Goats in the area contribute to the production of argan oil

Moroccan residents are reputed to harvest argan fruit that has fallen from trees, according to Argan Farm, a website about argan oil. The pulp may then be dried in open air and the argan oil extracted.

When speaking with the Telegraph, Gekoski noted these indigenous locals, and he thinks that tourists should purchase argan oil from Moroccan residents.

Women in Morocco will gather Argan oil by hand, which is more ethical and environmentally friendly, according to Gekoski.

Because of the high density of goats in the region, argan trees may be at risk. In recent years, farmers have introduced huge numbers of goats into the region in order to accommodate the yearly influx of visitors, according to Culture Trip.

Farmers are said to put large numbers of goats into barren trees when argan fruit is not typically ripe during Morocco’s busiest tourist seasons: between the months of April and May, as well as September to November, according to TripSavvy.

Gophers will also consume unripe fruit, which may harm tree development.

The World Wildlife Fund has designated the argan tree as endangered, and UNESCO has declared the woodland in which they grow to be a natural reserve.