Some readers might associate the island of Mallorca with temporarily overpopulated areas of the well known domesticated species Homo non-Sapiens. Those migrate to the island in large numbers every year between May and September from the Northern parts of Europe. The Homo non-Sapiens are characterized by high levels of consumption and low levels of activity. Their relatives the Homo-Sapiens also migrate at the same time but they tend to disperse in different areas of the island and have a better chance of meeting the main hero of our short story – the Mallorcan Wild Goat. One of the local legends.
The funky friend of ours has been on these lands since the Pre-Talayotic period (2000-1300 BC). This is pretty impressive. Legend has it that it was brought here as a domestic animal. At some point, the Cabra Mallorquina managed to set itself free and run wild in the mountain. This rebellious behavior has now been replicated by the domestic goats. A lot of them are running wild on the steep slopes of the Tramuntana. Hopefully, they will be completely wild in less than 4000 years!
Actually, not everything in the cabra life is so happy go lucky. The ex-domestic goats have been hunted down as they overpopulate the mountain and threaten the development of plant life, especially oak trees…Sadly hunters are paid to maintain their numbers. The Cabra Mallorquina has been spared (although I did find a website promoting wild Mallorcan goat hunting adventures!).
Talking about involuntary death, if you are a visitor or a freshly arrived expat, please drive or ride your bike carefully especially on the mountain roads. Goats and sheep often jump unexpectedly from the bush and can cause you to make an accident. Just sayin’.
If you want to be able to distinguish between the Mallorcan Wild Goat and the Mallorcan domestic free running goat have a look at the images below. It’s really easy. What I’ve noticed is that the Balearean Boc is much more confident and not afraid to approach humans in contrast to the ex-domesticated goat which is always very afraid and never comes to say hi. This is just my experience.
Hope this has enriched your knowledge and perspective on the island’s wildlife. I personally love all the animals that are honoring me with their presence (apart from mosquitoes, not sure about those folks). There is something quite incredible in being able to observe and interact with wild animals in a way that the Cabra Mallorquina allows us to.
Wild donkeys and ponies are also roaming around but they are not as common as the goats and you really need to know where to find them.
Happy cabra encounters!