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October 10, 2016

Tree Goats of Morocco

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From Atlas Obscura:

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Grown almost exclusively in Morocco, the Argania tree is a rare and protected species after years of over farming and clear cutting.

The tree produces an annual fruit crop, and it is these delicious morsels that attract legions of local goats who hop up into the branches to pick out the fruit.

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Like an image out of a goat-cast wire-fu film, the animals stand on the impossibly precarious branches and get down to their seasonal feast.

Far from just a single ambitious goat climbing a single tree, the animals tend to swarm into the branches in number.

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Local farmers condone and even cultivate this bizarre feeding practice, keeping the goats away from the trees while the fruit matures and releasing them at the right time. 

There is also a secondary benefit to the goats' habits: it is found in their poop.

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After the goats finish eating the fruit off the trees, they pass valuable clumps of seeds which are then pressed to create sought-after Argan oil.

Unfortunately, since the tree goats can be quite profitable for their owners, more and more of them have been brought into the area, causing a general decline in the health of the trees.

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October 10, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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October 10, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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