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Capra w’alie (Amharic: Walia)

waliaThe habitat of the walia ibex is the high simien. First recorded in 1835 by Ruppell, and first properly observed by powell cotton at the beginning of the century (1900), the walia at that time was a mythical beast and little was known of its numbers and status. Mountain sheep and goats have feet that are specially adapted for living in mountainous terrain. Their hooves have sharp adges and the undersides are concave, enabling them to adhere somewhat like suction cups. To watch even the youngest and smallest of the walia kids gamboling about on slanted rocky ledges in a cliff face of terrifying steepness, a 500 meter drop only inches away, makes one catch one’s breathe with anxiety. They never fall. They sometimes attain a length of over 110 cms. They are sturdily built and standing about ammeter high at the shoulder and weighing up to 120kg.