Rare images of black goats and kids prancing through a snowy forest on a mountain have been captured on camera in a national nature reserve that was once a hunting ground for Romania’s royal family.
The goats were wandering in the Retezat National Park in southwestern Romania earlier this month when they were spotted and filmed by the Romsilva forestry administration.
In a post on its Facebook page, Romsilva noted how the goats’ muscly frame and cloven hooves were perfectly adapted to the mountainous terrain in the area, allowing them to move in rocky areas with ease.
Other animals are not equipped to navigate the terrain as well, but the goats were at home there, finding food and hiding from predators, Romsilva said.
It is considered a wary animal, with very keen senses which makes it very demanding to hunt. In any case, mountain goats in Retezat Park are protected from hunting.
The black goat, mountain goat or chamois is confined solely to the alpine regions of the south and eastern Carpathian Mountains, living summers above and winters under the timberline.
Black goats seek out rocky areas in wintertime where they can find food and take shelter from natural predators, such as the lynx which also roam in the area.
Black goats are herbivores and feed on alpine rose hips, pine cones, deciduous or coniferous shoots, while in the winter they eat moss and lichen.
The Retezat National Park was established in 1935 and was at first a hunting ground for the royals. It’s now one of 22 parks and natural reservations in Romania that are managed by Romsilva. It is a tourist attraction for nature lovers, with half the visitors coming from abroad.
It covers about 38,000 hectares of which 20,000 are forests. About 10,000 hectares are strictly protected areas.
The reserve is home to numerous wild species of plants and animals including bears, wolves, lynx, black goats, deer, and boar which are all protected.
The park has 80 lakes including the Bucura Lake, the biggest glacial lake in Romania and Zănoaga Lake, the deepest glacial lake in the country.