Mountain Goats!

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Brussel
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Mountain Goats!

Post by Brussel » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:52 am

So I got out on Table Mountain on Monday and we decided to meander up a 16 on lower buttresses called William Tell that I had not climbed before. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the first stance 25m up only to be greeted by two large, hairy and horned Thars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahr on the ledge next to me. We eyed each other suspiciously for a few minutes and I made sure I had a strong belay. I am not sure how hard they can head-butt people. The decided that I was not worth tossing over the edge and quietly hopped down the cliff and disappeared into the thick fynbos leaving me amazed at their ability.

Absolutely incredible what they can get up without ropes, chalk or even hands! We saw two young ones the size of a small family dog down climb a 8m plumb vertical cliff without breaking a sweat on the same day.

I know there was a plan to eradicate them sometime back, but it is pretty awesome to share the mountain with such natural mountain goats who put us humans to shame :)

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Justin
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by Justin » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:49 am

Brussel wrote:I am not sure how hard they can head-butt people.
Probably very hard!!!
It's is a shame that they are being hunted, however I have heard that they kill the local buck.

I've also spotted quite a few Klipspringer around Montagu of late.

Is it just you and me who are seeing these animals ! :lol:
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AdrianT
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by AdrianT » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:54 am

I hike up India Venster anything from 1 to 4 times a week. During rain, or a day after a few days of rain, chances are high to see them. I've bumped into them in the mist many times and also had concerns of aggression etc. I did some research and found these tahr's to have zero aggression. So you'd be plenty safe. Some Australian vet even said in a document they could be made as pets successfully. EDIT: normal summer days it is unusual to see them, and more people hiking this route in the last 12 months means seeing less, although I saw one in Platteklip the other evening - could not believe it!

Wild Magazine had zero interest in photos I took of them, as they don't want to advertise them, and are seen as a pest. I think the Wikipedia says two escaped from a zoo in 1908 or something like that (too lazy to Google now) and their numbers went almost to 400 or so, then culled to about 80, but I suspect their numbers are rising again. Pest or not, they are great to see on the mountain. Lovely animals and extremely agile.

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AdrianT
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by AdrianT » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:06 am

On Saturday I saw two chaps starting the traverse on what I think is Africa Ledge as I got to the top of India Venster route. Next thing they had a super long rope and the first guy abseiled down, quickly. On his way down he tossed some branches down and loads of rocks - clearing a future climb? I assume they knew no one was hiking below.. At the base of that cliff the area erupted with about 8 tahr's bolting up to the left corner. They seem to be in great numbers in that area.

bad
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by bad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:38 am

I've heard said they might eat blister bush
If this is so then their decline in numbers might explain the increase in blister bush
me wonders if this could be true mmmm
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AdrianT
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by AdrianT » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:15 am

Hmmm. I stand under correction, but I don't think a cull has been done in years. Blister bush definitely cropping up more and more.

mokganjetsi
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:32 am

me thinks we should do a blister bush culling mission..... the nasties are overgrowing fountain & africa ledges

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Thermophage
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by Thermophage » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:07 pm

I've also only ever seen one and that was also hiking up Platteklip gorge actually.

onehand
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Re: Mountain Goats!

Post by onehand » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:15 pm

Cool, seen hoofprints only on venster path many times and got a male standing just left of the chains in the early morning with sunrise illuminating his mane, wow what a dramatic picture. also seen a hyrax absolutely destroy a 1/2 m dia blister bush down to twigs at the cable station

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