17. 09. 12. - 14:19
Acting the goat
Austrian mountain rescue officials were called out to deal with an unusual case at the weekend after hikers reported that an injured mountain goat had become stuck on the side of a cliff at Rauris in the Salzburg region of Pinzgau.
The pet goat nicknamed "Ricki“ who was owned by a local person and allowed to roam freely over the pasture located at a height of 3000 m was spotted after he apparently got stuck on the side of the glacier mountain Hocharn bei Rauris.
Mountain goats are able to climb on almost vertical surfaces using small outcrops of rock in order to reach plants but with the injury Ricki had been unable to free himself.
The goat was located using binoculars and mountain rescuers Ludwig Rasser, Toni Rasser and Kurt Winkler were able to use climbing ropes to reach the remote location - and then strapped the goat into a rescue harness in order to pull him to safety.
Ludwig said: "I was extremely steep but the biggest problem was that the entire slope which was almost vertical was completely covered with wet grass – which makes it far more dangerous than if it had been a rock face.
"It was extremely slippery and it was understandable why the mountain goat which also injured its right front leg was unable to go any further."
The goat appeared to be grateful when the rescuers arrived and licked their hands as he was strapped into the harness and lowered to safety in the valley below.
He was then placed into a pasture with a flock of local sheep so that he can recover and will be released back into the mountains next spring.