A mountain landscape: glistening glaciers, steep rock faces, plunging valleys: in the distance, a tiny dot with two gigantic horns. This is the realm of one of the most iconic animals of the peaks : the Alpine Ibex. Our film tells the life story of Buck, a single dominant male. The film opens with his dying moments in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park, his life ending in the shadow of the same 4,000 meter summit that witnessed his birth. In the flashbacks that follow, the film relives the most important moments of his life.
Threatened at birth by both the eagle and the fox, the young Ibex must first learn to live with these predators, to outwit and evade them. Then, before he can dominate his herd, he must survive the perils of deadly storms and killer avalanches. Securing his place among the other Ibex means engaging in pitiless combats - on the very edge of the abyss. Evolution granted these animals astonishing climbing skills: the ability to scale cliffs no other mammal would dare tackle. The Lord of the Highlands shares his territory with chamois, wolves, marmots and Alpine hares. In the delicate ecological balance of this high-altitude sanctuary, no animal, no species, can survive entirely on its own. Ibex have learned to endure freezing winters and enjoy the luxury and leisure of hot summers. But having already overcome one serious threat of extinction, the species now faces an even more severe challenge: how to adapt to climate change!
This unique story was filmed over seven years in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park, the very heart of the Ibex’s historic domain. For several months each year the directors lived close to the wild animals of the mountains, through all four seasons, to bring the natural world even closer to audiences everywhere.