islamabad         -       A hiker came across a surprising sight in a remote area of the Italian Alps - the preserved remains of a 400 year old goat. With only half of its body sticking out of the ice, Hermann Oberlechner said the animal’s skin ‘looked like leather, completely hairless.’ Oberlechner had hiked six hours into the mountains, so an army helicopter had to airlift the carcass out in a specially designed case. Scientists will now examine the creature, known as a chamois, in hopes of improving conservation techniques for other so-called ‘ice mummies,’ including Ötzi, the famous 5,300 year old ‘Iceman’ found by hikers in the Italian Alps in 1991. 

Oberlechner, a champion skier, was hiking in Ahrntal in South Tyrol near the Italian-Austrian border when he spied the remains. At first he thought it was just another animal carcass, a not-uncommon sight for the veteran outdoorsman. Upon closer inspection, he realized he’d stumbled across something extraordinary.