At Ein Gedi, male ibexes lock horns for females’ attention
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Getting their goat

At Ein Gedi, male ibexes lock horns for females’ attention

Dramatic photos from Judean Desert show animals going to head-to-head as part of reproduction ritual

Ibexes fight each others during the species' Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve  along the Dead sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
Ibexes fight each others during the species' Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the Dead sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Male Nubian ibexes in the Ein Gedi nature reserve were locking horns as their female counterparts entered their annual reproductive cycle.

Photographs show the mammals rolling in the dust of the Judean Desert and leaping in the air in the fight over female mates in their Estrous Cycle.

Ibexes fight each others during the species’ Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Practically extinct in the 1970s, ibexes were saved by Israel’s nature conservation organizations and today large herds flourish throughout the desert regions.

There an estimated 1,200 ibexes remaining across the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Ibexes fight each others during the species’ Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the Dead sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Grown-up males have thick curved horns over a meter long while the females’ horns are noticeably smaller. With younger ibexes, the base of the horn indicates their sex, for male horns are thicker than those of the female.

Ibexes fight each others during the species’ Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
Ibexes fight each others during the species’ Estrous cycle in the Ein Gedi nature reserve along the Dead sea in the Judean Desert on March 24, 2018. ( AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)
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