Incredible yet tragic: Mountain goat plunges to its death following an epic cliff-top battle with a rival

TWO male mountain goats lock horns and the loser plunges over a cliff edge.

The Spanish ibex were snapped by Agus Nuleagus, 53, at the Sierra de Gredos National Park, a nature reserve in ­Castile and Leon.

The two males were Spanish Ibex, a type of wild goat Credit: Solent News

Nuleagus, a police officer near the Spain-Portugal border, said: “I’ve spent three years looking for a fight like this in a high mountain area with snow and in a clean environment.

The fight between the two hulking beasts lasted around 20 minutes Credit: Solent News

The photographer says that one of the goats seemed to have just given up the fight Credit: Solent News

At the end of ithe epic confrontation there was only one male goat left alive Credit: Solent News

“It was a feeling of satisfaction to be able to take these photos after the patience and perseverance.

“I have been through adverse weather conditions including rain and snow storms as well as sub zero temperatures.”

High and mighty: Two young mountain goats lock horns in a terrifying play-fight at 13,000ft, in preparation for the ‘real’ battles over females in December

In the ring: The awe-inspiring animals clash high above the clouds after their encounter began halfway up Montasio in the Italian Alps

One wrong move could have led to the reckless Capra ibex goats plunging thousands of feet to their deaths.

‘They were living life on the edge. But they were young goats, maybe around three years old, practising their fighting skills. The real fighting begins in December when they will battle over females.

‘The correlation with a boxing ring is unbelievable. At one point there was the two fighters in the ring and then the judge too. It was like a world title fight.’

Vantage point: The majestic Capra ibex gazes out from the perilous peak

Stand-off: The two reckless kids attempted to intimidate each other on the steep slopes as amateur photographer Marius Sabo followed them

Mr Sabo, 38, followed the threesome for more than an hour, gasping for breath in the thinning oxygen as he took pictures on his Canon 40D.

The graphic designer, who was born in Romania and now lives in Austria, began taking photos as a hobby in 2003.

He added: ‘I was amazed and thanked God for this chance to picture something so powerful in such a beautiful setting.

‘They showed such graciousness and dexterity to climb up there and not fall. It is almost like they had God on their side making sure they stayed safe.’

Eventually the proud goats moved their confrontation to safer ground – and the sure-footed creatures will live to fight another day.