Jasper National Park of Canada
Mountain goat, Jasper National Park © Parks Canada
Mountain goats usually live high on mountain cliffs, avoiding predators with their death-defying, cliff-walking stunts. But here they can be found right near the highway. A "mineral lick" or pale-coloured mineral rich silt deposit at kilometre 38 of the Icefields Parkway attracts them. Mountain goats gather here to lick the silt for its calcium and sulphate content, ingesting so much that their droppings turn silt-white instead of the usual black.
This is one of the best roadside wildlife viewing opportunities in the park. It can also be one of the most dangerous. Here are some tips to safely view wildlife while in Jasper:
- Never feed or approach wildlife;
- Always remain in your vehicle;
- Use a telephoto lens to take a picture;
- Pull off onto the shoulder or into a nearby parking area;
- Watch for animals or children suddenly running into traffic;
- Quickly continue your journey so that others can enjoy the opportunity also;
- Read the Keep the Wild in Wildlife brochure carefully before visiting the park.