Geoparks.Africa
Geoparks and Geotourism in Africa. World Heritage Sites

Mystery Behind Tree Climbing Goats of Morocco

In Tanzania there are tree climbing lions of Manyara and Tree Climbing pythons of Tarangire but in Morocco you get treated to Tree Climbing Goats

Morocco Tree Top Goats

Bizarre, Isn’t it? It is only in Morocco where goats, yes goats, climb trees.

Plus, it is not just ordinary trees but rather the extremely thorny Argaine or Argan Trees.

More often than not, the Goats will be seen perched on top of the Argaine (Argan) Tree without moving.

As it happens, the reason why such domestic animals scale onto the branches is their craving for bean-like argan fruits

The Goats climb this tree and chew its fruits before spitting out the seeds which in turn are used to make oils and natural medicine by locals.

In the semi-arid country, sometimes natural food sources for animals can be scarce.

As the result the goats fight their ways through thorny trunks and branches determined to get to their tasty meals.

Usually it happens after goats have eaten all the low-hanging fruit of the season, when they thus hop up into the branches and get to snap up the argan nuts on the branches.

People in Morocco use the nuts of the Argania tree to extract argan oil.

The oil is the raw material for the production of cosmetic and culinary purposes.

So while some may might think the farmers of Argania trees would discourage this fruit consumption by the goats, the rality is on the contrary.

Many farmers actually encourage the goats to climb trees and consume the fruit for a couple of reasons. The first is argan oil.

Goats simply can’t digest the fruit’s seed, no matter how much they enjoy eating it.

Their munching on them, though, strips away the skin and fruit. They then swallow the seed or spit it out, meaning a clean, spit-out seed or one that’s passed through their digestive system and been mellowed.

This softening of the seeds, thanks to the goat’s digestive juices, makes the nuts useable for producing argan oil.