Dean M. Chriss
Mountain Goat, Baby
(Click image to enlarge)
This young mountain goat is not yet old enough to be on its own, so it stays
fairly close to its mother. She was standing nearby when I took this photograph
using a very long lens so neither of them would be disturbed.
Mountain goats are not true goats, but they are related. The mountain goat (Oreamnos
americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, is a sure-footed hooved
mammal endemic to North America. They live in subalpine to alpine regions
and are commonly seen climbing on impossibly steep cliffs, even in ice and
snow. They have cloven hooves with two toes that spread wide to improve
their balance and rough pads on the bottom of each toe to provide a good
grip on slippery surfaces. Mountain goats are powerful and nimble climbers
that can jump roughly 12 feet in a single bound.