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Chamois broke leg, had no chance to survive

AROUND January 20, a carcass of a chamois was found about 100 metres from a hiking trail near Skalnaté pleso in the High Tatras.

AROUND January 20, a carcass of a chamois was found about 100 metres from a hiking trail near Skalnaté pleso in the High Tatras.

The animal, almost five years old, had his hind leg injured. The carcass was just a fragment of the animal, skeleton and skin.

On the inner side of his left hind leg, 175 millimetres under his calcaneal bulge, he had an open comminute fracture of sub-calcaneal bone that was split into two by the fracture. The chamois surely got injured before he died – there was visible swelling and dried tissue around the fracture, said Milan Kornajčík, animal taxidermist of the Research station and Museum (VSaM) of State Forestry of the Tatra National Park (ŠL TANAP), for the TASR newswire.

Peter Simčák of the mountain lodge TenisCentrum in Tatranská Lomnica reported an injured chamois: on January 11 they watched it under the ski-slope close to Skalnatá mountain chalet. Over the next days, the weather conditions worsened, and three days later, the animal’s remains were found.

On January 14, it was brought to VSaM TANAP in Tatranská Lomnica but it was not possible to determine the direct cause of death, as the traces in the mountains were covered with snow, and the laboratory did not have enough material to research – the carcass was heavily damaged.

The animal could have died of exhaustion caused by blood loss, inability to find food, frost and wind, or a combination of several factors, zoologist of ŠL TANAP, Barbara Chovancová, opined.

Moreover, the injured chamois could easily have become prey to predators such as lynx or an even smaller animal – including a fox. She added that limb fractures are not frequent in wild animals; if they are not disturbed and stressed, they can assess well their obstacles and also their abilities, Chovancová added.

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