How it works:
- Situation: goats are actually very nimble and can climb trees to search for food (e.g. you can see a video below). However, this natural phenomena has been exploited by scammers. Thanks to an investigation by environmental photojournalist Aaron Gekoski, this was exposed with media attention in April 2019.
- Opening: at this “attraction”, you will see many goats on top of Argan trees. It was claimed that they have climbed up to get at the fruit pulp which surrounds the nut.
- Set-up: goats do do so, but what really happens at many of these set-ups is that farmers import goats from various parts of the country and coax them onto the trees at sunrise. They even build platforms (i.e. branches) to place these goats. Throughout the day, the goats are rotated as it is really tiring.
- The impact: it is a lucrative trade for farmers who collect tips from tourists who want to see and to take photos with the goats. However, it is not so good for the (usually impoverished looking) goats who despite being able to climb trees, tend to “freeze” under the hot sun in this set-up.
Places to beware:
- Between Agadir, Essaouira and Marrakech
What to do:
- If you see a whole bunch of them on top of a tree with locals around asking you for a tip, it is probably a set-up.