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Saturday, August 07, 2021

Caution Goats Crossing in Teno Alto

Typical oncoming traffic on the road to Teno Alto

Technical architect, Rafael Díez, has endeavored to adapt the danger sign for cattle to the goat reality of this corner of the Teno Rural Park

Rafael Díez Alcalde is a technical architect for a company hired to offer specialized assistance to the Teno Rural Park. When they addressed the need to install a danger warning sign for goats crossing on the winding access road to Teno Alto, this 51-year-old asked himself: "What does a sign with a cow mean in Teno Alto?". 

Traffic regulations only contemplate the design of the silhouette of a cow on the P-23 sign. 

He then put all his efforts into a new icon, a unique sign for Teno Alto. The danger signs foreseen by the DGT have the silhouette of a cow (P-23) and a deer (P-24). They mean danger due to the proximity of a place where the road can frequently be crossed by all kinds of domestic animals, and danger due to the proximity of a place where the road can frequently be crossed by wild animals. In the second case, it does not refer only to deer.

Ducks Crossing sign in the UK
Díaz Alcalde began to look for regulations, "such as the 1968 Vienna convention on road traffic, which speaks of using as a symbol the silhouette of an animal of the species, domestic or wild, that is most likely to be found in each area." He did not give up and found curious examples. It's common for other countries to use the silhouettes of the most frequent animals in certain areas. In Australia the yellow danger sign with the silhouette of a kangaroo is a national icon, like that of bears in Canada, but the red triangle with a white background also houses silhouettes of wild boars in Croatia, moose in Sweden and many other animals such as bears, horses, ducks, squirrels, sheep, pigs, frogs or camels.

The exception that most interested Díez Alcalde is the Doñana National Park, in Andalusia, where you can see danger warning signs with silhouettes of lynx, snakes, rabbits, wild boars, birds, partridges and even butterflies. After much internal debate, he was put in charge of making the silhouette from a photo, with the help of a designer friend, and placed the image of a Teno Alto goat in the centre of this personalized sign. He hopes that, if there are no problems, it will be placed on the road that gives access to this Buenavista hamlet, with a double objective: to warn drivers of the possible presence of loose goats and to become a new symbol for Teno Alto. "Maybe even tourists will stop there to take pictures with the sign," he says. For now, the mayor of Buenavista del Norte, Antonio González (SSP), does not dislike the idea either: "Using these signs would contextualize much better the type of livestock that visitors to Teno can find and would be more accurate than the image of cow". 

Precaución: cabras sueltas