Ibex Horns with Skull and Jaw

Engadine, 20th century

The ibex is not only the heraldic animal of the canton of Graubünden. It is also consistently present in Tourism as an emblem. As an animal, however, it was heavily hunted, mainly because different remedies were made from its body parts. This led to its extinction in the middle of the 19th century throughout the Alps.

At that time only the Italian king still owned ibexes in his hunting ground in the Piedmont region. Switzerland asked him for a few of the animals for the purpose of reintroduction, but he denied the request. Unceremoniously, the Swiss sent out poachers in 1906 to steal some kids [fawns].These were subsequently used for breeding, and their offspring were gradually reintroduced to the Swiss Alps, including Graubünden.