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Old 03.01.2015, 23:27
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Alpine ibex - dangerous?

I was not sure where should I put this question, but since it happened on a hike, decided to ask here.

Today, during snowshoeing in Les Diablerets, a herd of ibexes appeared on the route (Isenau - Col de Seron). 100, 50, 30 meters, I am shouting at them - they don't seem to be scared, and these were males, with some really huge antlers. After waiting for a few minutes, and hearing from my girlfriend that she heard they might be dangerous, we left to go up the different couloir than we originally anticipated.

Surprisingly, later we saw another herd, consisting only of females, and they run away quite soon as we approached.

After extensive search on the web I was unable to find any hard proof of danger or any incidents including ibexes and tourists. I also found out that only during mating period males stay with the herd, and are more aggressive (and December - January is the mating period). Anyone has any information about that, personal experience, etc.

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Old 03.01.2015, 23:30
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Re: Alpine ibex - dangerous?

It is the rutting season and males are fighting for supremacy- and yes, they can be dangerous and charge. But much more importantly, tourists who shout at them and get closer and closer to take photos- are a real threat to them- especially in areas where numbers are small- like the Creux-du-Van in the Neuchâtel Jura.

Give them space to do what they have to do- and stay safe. It can make the difference between a herd surviving, or not.

Last edited by Odile; 04.01.2015 at 00:00.
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Old 04.01.2015, 14:39
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Re: Alpine ibex - dangerous?

When hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, skiing (especially off piste) - please remember that you are invading the native wild animals' space. You are the danger, not the other way around.

Switzerland's many hiking trails allow us a closer relationship with nature than we might find elsewhere - we are very fortunate to have this opportunity. But we must approach nature with the respect it deserves, and it is incumbent on each of us to ensure that we disturb these glorious animals' habitat as little as possible.

If you hike the mountains, learn how to respond correctly to the animals you might encounter. Here's what the 'Respekt deine Grenzen' website, has to say about encountering Steinbock:


In manchen Gebieten sind die Steinböcke gegenüber Menschen wenig scheu; die Fluchtdistanz liegt oft bei 20 Meter oder weniger. Es gibt aber auch Gebiete, in denen sie deutlich darüber liegt, das heisst die Tiere nehmen Skifahrer und Snowboarder, die rasch herannahen, als eine grosse Gefahr wahr, was sie zu anstrengenden Fluchten treibt. Vor allem ruhende Tiere können überrascht und erschreckt werden. Werden sie von den besten Wintereinständen in den Wald hinein vertrieben, richten sie an Jungbäumen Verbissschäden an.

Schneesport mit Rücksicht

Halte dich aus Rücksicht gegenüber Steinböcken auf den markierten Routen und mach keinen unnötigen Lärm. Meide schneefreie Flächen, insbesondere in Südlagen. Wenn du in eine neue Geländekammer kommst, halte Ausschau. Wenn du Tiere erspähst, weiche ihnen wenn möglich aus oder lass ihnen Zeit, sich in Ruhe zu entfernen. So ersparst du den Steinböcken kräftezehrende Fluchten im tiefen Schnee.
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