National Geographic : 1983 May
Rugged aeries shelter man and animal in the Simien Mountains (above). Yet the walia ibex (left) stands close to extinction, with only about 300 surviving. Nearly all roam the 87-square-mile Simien Mountains National Park.Some attribute the ibex's initialdecline to the Italianoccupationduring World War II, when peasantsresorted to slaughtering them for meat. The encroachment of agriculture has replacedpoachingas the greatest threatto the goat. Rare but not endangered,the elusive gelada baboon (right)flees when alarmed.It feeds in troops of as many as 300. Tilling clifftop plots,Amhara farmers raise barley and wheat, then load mules for the perilous descent to market.