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With his neck stretched out and his tail raised, this impressive male Alpine ibex shows all the signs of rut. Males can weigh up to about 115 kilograms (258 lb), and have large, backwards-curving, horns with numerous ridges along their length growing with age to up 98 cm (39 in). Extirpated by hunting from most alpine areas in the 19th century, the Alpine ibex was reintroduced to parts of its historical range and is now thriving.
Rocky slopes with grass above tree line, alt. 1900 m ASL. The habitat is shown in the last shot.
These two males were spotted together, the second one (picture 5) being noticeably younger as shown by his horns.The rut period lasts for about 6 weeks from about early December to mid-January. During this time, male herds break up into smaller groups that search for females. Spectacular fights to determine male ranking can be observed during this period. Rarely violent, the shock of horns can nevertheless be heard far away.
Lat: 46.38, Long: 7.17
Spotted on Nov 25, 2014
Submitted on Jan 13, 2015
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