Chamois, Le Pont :
On the few occasions I have been privileged to be up close in the wild to one or more of these beautiful animals, I have been amazed by their seemingly gentle and almost docile manner. Their doe-like eyes watch and assess my encroachment into their territory, resuming their search for conifer sprouts amongst the rocks and moss in the melting snow of the mountainside, when no signs of threat are apparent.
Interesting facts : the Chamois are from the goat-antelope family and are traditionally found in the French Alps, amongst other European mountainous regions (and for my Antipodean family – also in New Zealand; courtesy of a gift by the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph in 1907, in exchange for living specimens of ferns, rare birds and lizards!). The Chamois are capable of reaching speeds of 50km per hour over uneven ground and I believe, can climb around 1,000 metres in 15 minutes or less – so much better than I was doing on the day I captured this shot!!!