Discovering the Bizarre Secrets of Morocco's Argan Tree-Climbing Goats

Discovering the Bizarre Secrets of Morocco's Argan Tree-Climbing Goats

If you have ever visited southwestern Morocco, you may have come across a bizarre sight: goats perched high up in the branches of Argan trees, casually nibbling on the leaves and fruit. These are Morocco's famous tree-climbing goats, and their behavior is truly fascinating. The Argan tree-climbing goats of Morocco are a fascinating sight for tourists who visit southwestern Morocco. These goats climb the Moroccan Argan trees to reach the Argan fruit that contains the hard nut with oil-rich seeds. Argan oil is a popular ingredient in many beauty products, and goats have been eating the fruit for centuries. They are nature's best helpers in making the best 100% Organic Argan oil.


  1. Introduction: The Fascinating Tree-Climbing Goats of Morocco
  2. History: Where It Began
  3. The role of tree-climbing goats in seed dispersal
  4. Animal cruelty concerns and lack of strong animal protection laws
  5. The reopening of the road that passes through the Argan forest
  6. Anatomy of Tree-Climbing Goats
  7. Hooves and gripping abilities for climbing trees
  8. Seed dispersal through consuming and spitting out Argan fruit
  9. Concerns of animal cruelty and overgrazing
  10. Observing the Tree-Climbing Goats
  11. Behaviors and adaptations of the goats in their environment
  12. Impact of goat population growth on the Argan forest
  13. Striving for a balance between animal welfare and environmental conservation
  14. Surprising Adaptations of the Goats in Morocco
  15. Seed dispersal and its crucial role in Argan forest survival
  16. Specialized stomachs for digesting the hard nut inside the fruit
  17. Maintaining the balance of the ecosystem
  18. Local Reactions
  19. The importance of the goats' climbing behavior in seed dispersal
  20. Concerns about animal welfare and reports of cruelty
  21. Mixed opinions on the goats' impact on Argan fruit harvesting
  22. Conclusion: Fascinating Behavior of Morocco's Tree-Climbing Goats

History: Where It Began

The tree-climbing goats in Morocco are believed to help with seed dispersal as they climb the trees to eat the fruit and then spit out the seeds far away. This helps the Argan tree species to survive in the arid environment of southwestern Morocco. The domestic goats in the area have a specialized stomach that allows them to re-chew their food, which is helpful when they are forced to stay in trees for hours.
The Argan tree-climbing goats are also a source of income for the people in the region as they help produce Argan oil. However, the goats' acrobatic skills and the novelty of seeing them climb trees have led to animal cruelty, with some people putting several goats on a single tree without providing them with standing space or even feeding them properly.

Morocco's animal health division, responsible for assessing animal health and welfare, lacks strong animal protection laws. However, the head of Morocco's animal health division says that climbing trees is "a natural behavior" for the goats attracted to the trees.

In 2019, Morocco reopened the road from Marrakech to Essaouira, which goes through the Argan forest, and tourists can now see the goats perched high up in the branches. The goats' ability to climb trees is a unique feature, and they have become an important part of Morocco's culture and heritage.

Anatomy of tree-climbing goats

The goats' hooves have two toes that can spread wide, allowing them to grip onto narrow branches and climb trees with ease. The Argan fruit is a hard nut that is surrounded by a fleshy pulp, which the goats eat. While the goats are eating the fruit, the goats disperse seeds by spitting them out or passing them through their digestive system and excreting them. This process helps to ensure that the Argan trees' seeds are dispersed far and wide, allowing for new trees to grow and ensuring the survival of the forest.

Although some people refer to these goats as "flying goats," they don't actually fly. Rather, they are highly acrobatic and can stay in trees for hours, moving from branch to branch in search of the best fruit. In 2019, Morocco reopened a road from Marrakech to Essaouira that passes through the Argan forest. This has led to concerns about animal cruelty, as tourists have been known to put several goats on a single tree for photo opportunities.

Despite the concerns, the goats of Morocco are an important part of the Argan forest ecosystem. Their climbing and grazing behaviors help with seed dispersal, and they play a role in the production of Argan oil, which is an important industry in the region. While there are some challenges to ensuring the welfare of these animals, efforts are being made by organizations such as Morocco's animal health division to evaluate animal welfare according to global standards.

Observing the tree-climbing goats

Watching the goats climb is truly a sight to behold. They use their front legs to steady themselves as they leap from branch to branch, almost like they are flying. They can stay up in the tree for hours, eating and relaxing.

The domestic goats of Morocco are often seen perched on the branches of Argan trees, making them look like flying goats. This acrobatic behavior is a natural adaptation of the goats to their environment. However, the number of goats in Morocco has increased significantly in recent years, and some argue that it has led to overgrazing and damage to the Argan forest.

Morocco is a member of the World Organization for Animal Health, which is responsible for assessing animal health and welfare globally. However, the country lacks strong animal protection laws, and evaluating animal welfare according to international standards remains a challenge.

The tree-climbing goats of Morocco play an important role in producing Argan oil and maintaining the Argan forest. However, there are concerns about the impact of overgrazing on the environment, and efforts are being made to find a balance between animal welfare and environmental conservation.

Surprising Adaptations of the Goats in Morocco

One of the most surprising adaptations of these tree-climbing goats is how they disperse the Argan seeds. Rather than digesting them, the goats spit out the seeds, which can then grow into new Argan trees. This method of seed dispersal is crucial for the survival of the Argan forest, and the goats play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem. This process helps the Argan trees to grow in new areas and maintain the Argan forest. The goats are attracted to the Argan fruit because of its sweet and pulpy texture. They have developed a specialized stomach that allows them to digest the hard nut inside the fruit and re-chew their food.

Local Reactions

The tree-climbing goats are unique to Morocco and have been a part of the country's landscape for centuries. They are attracted to the Argan tree fruit and can climb as high as 30 feet to get to them. The goats' climbing behavior is a natural way of seed dispersal, which helps to propagate the Argan tree population. The goats eat the fruit and the tree-climbing goats disperse seeds, which allows the Argan tree seeds to germinate and grow into new trees.

Although Morocco is a member of the world's animal health division, there are concerns about animal welfare in the country. The head of Morocco's animal health division has stated that climbing trees is "a natural activity for the goats." However, there are reports of animal cruelty, such as putting several goats on a platform and forcing them to stay in trees for hours. This is not normal behavior for the goats, raising concerns about their welfare.

Despite concerns about animal welfare, the goats' behavior is beneficial for the Argan forest. Local people who take care of the Argan forest have observed that the goats help to disperse the Argan seeds, which is crucial for the Argan tree population's survival. Furthermore, the goats' regurgitated seeds are usually pooping large seeds, which are like cargo onto their platforms. This behavior helps the seeds to travel far from the parent tree and increases the chances of new trees sprouting up.

The locals in Morocco have mixed feelings about the goats' behavior. Some see the goats as a helpful tool in maintaining the Argan forest, while others view them as a nuisance that eats the fruit before it can be harvested for Argan oil.

Conclusion: Fascinating Behavior

The behavior of Morocco's tree-climbing goats is truly fascinating. Their ability to climb trees and disperse seeds is a natural adaptation that has helped them survive for centuries. If you ever find yourself in Morocco, be sure to keep an eye out for these acrobatic goats and marvel at their incredible climbing abilities.


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