3 Alpine animals to spot on your ski holiday

 

From cuddly huskies to cute marmottes, there are loads of wild animals living in the snowy Alps - but they're not always easy to spot unless you know where to look!

For fans of adorable creatures and curious beasts, here are a few Alpine animals to seek out on your next ski holiday in the mountains.
 

Image courtesy of Pierre Metivier on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.


Huskies


Husky sledding is really popular in the Alps, and resorts like Val d’Isère and Chamonix in France, Selva in Italy and Zermatt in Switzerland are great for it. The most common breeds you’ll find are the Siberian and Alaskan Husky, though you might also spot the larger, stronger Greenland Husky.


With a guide to lead the way, whizz along snowy forest trails and hold on tight as the eager huskies charge ahead! When the fun's over, don't forget to give your huskies a stroke to say thankyou - they're famous for their friendly nature. If you're not sure, check with your guide which of your huskies most likes a pat or a tickle.


Chamois

Chamois look a little like goats, and you can find them at high altitude all across the Alps. They love rock-climbing and they're really good at it - they can climb as far as 1,000 metres in around 15 minutes! You can spot chamois easily because of their white faces, short horns and the brown stripe that runs along their back - but they're really shy so you have to be quiet. Ssshhhhh!
 

Image courtesy of Jean-Marc Linder on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.


You may spot them if you travel through the Chamonix Valley in France, and they often gather on the slopes of the Shafberg in Zermatt too. Have a look out of the window as you ride the Matterhorn Express from Furi to Schwarzsee - if you're lucky you may spot some of these timid animals.

If you want to meet a chamois up-close, you can head to the Swiss Alpine Zoo in Les Marécottes near Verbier. The zoo is also home to black bears, wolves, lynx, marmots, foxes, owls, deer, wild boar and Ibex, so don't forget your camera to snap pictures of the animals you find.


Alpine Ibex

To stand the best chance of seeing these magnificent mountain goats in their natural habitat, head to the Paradiski or the Portes Du Soleil ski areas in France. Spring is the best time to go, when the herds leave the lower slopes and head to higher altitudes in search of fresh grass to eat. 
 

Image courtesy of Björn S on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.


Alpine Ibex live at altitudes between 1,600 and 3,000 meters above sea level. They're easy to spot because of their long horns, but be careful not to get too close!

These beautiful creatures are often spotted in the rocky Swiss Alps, particularly around the Haut Val de Bagnes Nature Reserve. You can also find them in France's Vanoise national park and Italy's Gran Paradiso national park, where the Ibex have all they need to live and thrive. 

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