Nijma asked me the other day if goats climb trees. They do, although most are not as extreme as this Moroccan herd:goats-in-trees-photoshot-510x566You can see more of them in this video.

The Moroccan herds only climb one sort of tree and they do it because they’re especially fond of its fruit. The tree is the Argan, which grows up to 10 metres high.  Its thorny, twisted branches make it fairly easy for goats to climb (unfortunately you can’t see this in the video, they are only jumping out).  The fruit is supposed to be ‘similar to an olive’, though I’m not sure how.

1280px-argania_spinosa1The farmers — Berbers of the Sous valley in S.W. Morocco —  follow their goats from tree to tree, collecting the nut inside the fruit, which the goats spit out or excrete. The kernels are ground up to make argan oil which is used for cooking and in cosmetics.  More about the Argan tree at Wikipedia.

Update.

By a tremendous coincidence there is an article about goats in trees and  argan oil in today’s Dagbladet, a Norwegian daily newspaper.  Even if you don’t understand the text, the pictures are worth looking at.  Saturday 25 April 2009.

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