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Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Facts and Myth

Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Facts and Myth

Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Goats, known for their agility, face challenges when climbing trees. To aid their ascent, some goat herders prune tree branches, although goats still occasionally fall.

Contrary to popular belief that argan tree seeds come from goat excrement, scientists discovered that most seeds used for Morocco’s argan oil are regurgitated and spat out by the goats.

Tree-climbing Goats
Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Facts and Myth

This seed-spitting habit is vital for maintaining argan forests, as 70 percent of these seeds can still grow. Argan trees, with their deep roots, play a crucial ecological role in combating desertification.

However, the combination of increased argan oil demand and climate change has led to the trees’ decline due to overgrazing and deforestation. Previously covering the entire North African region, the number of argan trees has significantly decreased.

To address this, conservation measures have been implemented, including seasonal bans to protect the trees from goat grazing. Local communities are also actively involved in protecting argan trees. Therefore, climbing goats have a dual impact on Morocco’s argan trees—both aiding and hindering their survival.

Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: National Geographic Story

Once upon a time in Morocco, there was a boy named Khalid and his father, Jaouad. They lived in a place called Essaouira, where drought had made it hard for farmers to grow crops. To make ends meet, some farmers came up with a unique idea—they trained their goats to climb argan trees.

Khalid and Jaouad had twelve goats, but getting them to climb the trees was proving to be a challenge. Khalid decided to help by climbing up the tree himself and enticing the goats with grain. One by one, he managed to coax them up, using patience and perseverance.

Word spread about these tree-climbing goats, and tourists started stopping by to see this unusual sight. Some people thought the goats were fake, but they were amazed to discover they were real and actually posing in the trees.

However, not everyone was happy about this. Animal welfare advocates expressed concerns, saying the goats were being manipulated and exploited. They believed that the goats were not free to move around, lacked access to food, water, and shade, and that being forced to stay in the trees for hours was not normal behavior for them.

The goats in the trees became a popular tourist attraction, but the debate continued. Some people argued that the goats climbing the trees was a natural behavior and good for the argan trees, as their droppings helped spread seeds.

Others disagreed, pointing out that the goats were eating leaves and seedlings, preventing the trees from rejuvenating.

Meanwhile, farmers like Jaouad relied on the money they earned from tourists to take care of their families and animals. They saw it as a way to survive in difficult times, even though they understood the concerns raised by animal welfare advocates.

In the end, the situation remained complex. While some people enjoyed seeing the goats in trees, others believed it was a form of cruelty. The drought continued to affect the land, and farmers hoped for a greener future where they could return to farming without relying on the goats’ tree-climbing skills.

And so, the story of the goats in the trees became a tale of contrasting perspectives, challenging circumstances, and the struggle to find a balance between tradition, livelihood, and animal welfare. Only time would tell how this unique phenomenon would unfold in the years to come.

Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Conclusion

Goats in Morocco climb trees to eat the fruit called Argan. The trees grow in a dry climate where there isn’t much food on the ground, so the goats have learned to go up the trees to find their meal.

They are able to climb because they have special hoofs and claws that help them grip the branches. When the goats eat the fruit, they pass the seeds through their bodies, making them softer and easier to use for making Argan oil.

This oil is highly valued and is used for cooking and in beauty products. The goats help with the process by eating the fruit and eliminating the seeds, which are then collected to make the oil.

Morocco’s Tree-climbing Goats: Resources

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Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.