For many years, seven alpine ibex have been living in the Eifelpark; their home is a large deer park in the popular wildlife park near Koblenz, which also offers the animals a retreat. As a visitor, you can walk through the enclosure and watch the proud animals climb, eat or just lay around at close range. The powerful head-ibex likes to be seen on a rock or climbing the steep rock face. The herd leader is always a male ibex.
Each year, the Ibex multiply in the Eifelpark. The young animals remain at their mother’s side until the first year of life. They are raised in a kind of “Kindergarten” in which several young animals come together and learn to climb playfully. This is an amusing sight for all the families in our adventure park in the Eifel. Ibex belong to the genus of goats. They are real climbing artists; in the high mountain regions of the Alps they live on steep, inaccessible terrain and can also survive on meagre food.
The ibex are about as large as goats, measure one to 1.5 metres from head to rump and are 70 cm to one metre high. The females – they are also called ‘Steingeiß’ – weigh about 50 kg, the males 80-125 kg. Ibex males also have, like the goat, a short goatee.
While females have only short, about 20 cm long horns, the males’ horns are up to a metre long, weigh up to 15 kg and are lightly curved backwards. You can judge the age of the animals by their horns.
The ibex are animals of the mountains, they live above the treeline at an altitude of 2500 – 3500 metres and love rock and scree regions where only some brushwood grows. The ibex are true climbing heroes because they can spread their claws and thus get a perfect grip on the mountains.
The ibex are frugal ruminants, they feed mainly on herbs, buds and soft woods. In the winter, they also eat juicy bark, mosses and grasses.