Mountaineers of Mammals the Mountain Goat

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I’ve been fortunate enough to venture off to Montana a few times in the last couple of years, and I haven’t spotted a mountain goat.  The reason for this is because in wintertime I wasn’t exactly finding myself in high alpine areas but rather on the only road open in Yellowstone National Park.

This time around we headed on out to Big Sky country in summer!  This allowed us to explore some areas that may be shut down due to snow like Beartooth Highway.  With these open alpine areas accessible by car, it became a mission of ours to spot some mountain goats and that is exactly what we did.  Four on Beartooth Highway and three more in Glacier National Park, each time the goats just doing their goat thing as I snapped away a ton of photos.

Lucky for us we didn’t just spot mountain goats up close and personal but we managed to find a few mama’s with their kids (<That is literally what baby goats are called, kids).

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Some More Random Facts: 

  • This one blew my mind, mountain goats aren’t actually goats!  Way to be confusing right?  They are actually related to antelopes.
  • I mentioned that Mountain goats (now it just feels weird… mountain antelope? :P) like alpine areas and they may be the best climbers but they also have some serious hops!  They can jump up to 12 feet in one leap!
  • Hope you aren’t about to sit down to lunch because this fact may be a bit gross.  Mountain goats are herbivorous and you typically see them grazing on grass, ferns, moss ect. but they don’t stop there.  They also eat cud, partially digested food that is regurgitated and then eaten again… yummmmm.
  • Mountain goats are the largest animal found within the high altitude environments.  Males, known as billies, can reach 3 1/2 feet tall and weigh 300 lbs. while females, also known as nannies, are just a little bit smaller than that.  By the way, they both have horns so don’t try and determine sex by whether they have horns or not!
  • Their coat is actually double layer, so in the summer time they shed to provide cooling while in the winter it grows out and provides warmth.
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