Goats and Camels of Morocco

This article will review two of the most iconic animals of Morocco: the funny goats and the long-lashed camels.

Goats of Morocco

The goats in Morocco are a little peculiar in that they have been trained to climb up the thorny branches of the Argan trees, Argania spinosa, which are endemic to southwest Morocco. The reward is the delicious yellowish-green pulp that comes from the Argan fruit. The Argan nut, which is encased in the fruit, is then passed through the goat after being eaten. Traditionally these nuts were then collected to make the now popular Argan oil. However, the practice of having the goats climb the trees is now more for general grazing and tourist spectacles and not so much a catalyst for Argan oil production.

Many goats in Morocco have a natural tendency to climb….well anything. Often they can be seen from the side of the road scaling up the trees for a morning snack or even trying to run up a palm tree when frightened.

Goat seeking a mid-morning snack on the drive out of Imsuoane (Location on map)

The middle photo below is of a goat eating bread it found on the ground. Cute, right? The goats to the right were trying to run up a palm tree after being startled by a runner. Quirky creatures.

Camels of Morocco

Dromedary camels grazing on a hill

Camels have a long history of use for transport and as general livestock. Now they are an essential part of tourism in Morocco with quaint and iconic camel rides in the desert, glamorous photo opportunities near the beach, etc.

Camels on the beach patiently waiting to entertain tourists in Taghazout

Camels are not individualistic as they travel around in a caravan/herd and obey their owner. Often camels can be found in Morocco grazing on the side of the road, however they are not wild; somewhere nearby will be their camel buddies.

There are a few different types of camels in Morocco. Traditional camels with two humps on their back and Dromedary camels with only one hump. The humps on the back of the camel serve as a place to store fat which can prove to be convenient in a desert environment. Another fun fact is that these beasts can grow up to seven feet in height and weigh approximately 500 to 800 pounds. Camels, notoriously being desert animals, also have a nicitating memrane (a transparent inner eyelid) that helps protect the camel’s eyes from sand.

This entry was posted in Animals, Explore, Morocco

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