Driving through Colorado, I once saw a goat eating grass/weeds from a crack in the face of a cliff.
The goat was pretty high up the cliff. The extraordinary (to me) thing was that this cliff face was essentially vertical, just a daunting 90o up and down. The face had very small ledges poking out here and there. It was on these tiny ledges that the goat was standing (and upon which he must have made the climb).
The cliff was so straight and flat, these footholds so small, that it looked as if the goat was lying flat on the ground- but the entire scene tilted 90o.
I wondered, could that goat have gotten himself to that patch of weed then, upon finishing eating, realized that he was unable to turn himself around, unable to find a path ahead, unable to back up? Could he have ended up stranded on that cliff, confined to the tiny foothold?
My general uneducated sense of how things work in the wild of nature tells me that animals generally know what they’re doing. How often, though, is this not the case?
Do animals from time to time misjudge their abilities? Does an animal ever misjudge the distance of a jump and end up falling down a canyon? Misjudge footing on a branch and fall out of a tree?
We will limit the inquiry to mature, healthy, non-inebriated animals.