Mountain Goats

Behold: a haplocerus montanus!
In 1882, William Baillie-Grohman came to hunt the Mountain Goat and met with success at the north end of the Lake. He recalled: “This was the Haplocerus montanus, better known as antelope-goat, or mountain-goat. It is found only on the Pacific Slope. At the time very little was known about it; no Zoo in Europe or America possessed a specimen….” Fortunately, his name for the Mountain Goat did not survive.

The Rocky Mountain Goat, or simply the Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), is found only in North America. Although it resembles a goat and is sometimes called an antelope, it is neither. One of its closest relatives, albeit distant, is the Chamois of Europe. The mountain goat resides at high elevations and is a sure-footed climber, often resting on rocky cliffs that predators cannot reach.

All the pictures, below, were taken in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park on the slopes below Gray's Peak.

mountain goatsAdult male and female mountain goats look similar, and both sport horns. Except during the breeding season, they lead separate lives, The clue that these adults are female is the presence of a kid (centre).  Doug Thorburn.

mountain goatsIt is August and the adults have finished shedding, but the kid still looks ragged.  Doug Thorburn.

mountain goatsTwo Mountain Goats graze on the slopes of Gray’s Peak in Kokanee Glacier Park. Mountain Goats are found high above Kootenay Lake in both the Selkirk and Purcell Ranges.  Doug Thorburn.

Information from BC Ministry of the Environment: Mountain Goat in BC.

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