Goat that killed Bob Boardman shot dead…

This whole sad story should raise the question of whether or not this non native species of goat, introduced by ‘well meaning’ naturalists in the 20s, should be taken out of the ecosystem up there. There is good reason to believe that our epidemic rates of giardia (the protozoa that infects our intestines) in all our upper mountain streams and lakes have been put there by these goats (along with other animals and humans, to be sure). are caused by these animals watering in the streams.  As most old timers know, prior to the 20s and 30s, you could safely drink out of most streams in the Olympics. Now, almost all streams are infected, and the goats are doing damage to other upland parts of the park.  I have had giardia once (from drinking from a natural spring in Colorado in the 70s). It is not a fun problem to have. And the drugs that are used to kill it are very hard on your liver.

We insist on putting animals, even deer, in our landscape and then when they attack we seem amazed. I for one wouldn’t mind culling this heard agressively, at least making the survivors not want to get near humans. We put them there, we should have the option of taking them out of the environment when they become known pests.

10/19 Associated Press
Killer goat had been aggressive before
The Associated Press

A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, died Saturday after he was attacked by the goat while hiking on the subalpine Switchback Trail in the park. The trail is popular with residents of nearby Port Angeles, which is about 195 miles northwest of Seattle.

Park rangers later found the goat, saw blood on it and shot the animal.

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One Response

  1. I must ask why the term “non-native” is used for the Mountain Goat. Non-native species are often described as:
    “non-native species includes plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogenic organisms that affect plants, animals, and humans, and are defined as organisms that are not indigenous to the ecosystem to which they were introduced and which are capable of surviving and reproducing without human intervention.”

    The Mountain Goat is within its historic range here, and they were simply moved from one park to another because they were damaging “fragile alpine areas and soil.”

    However, the Mountain Goat’s normal habitat is alpine and subalpine habitat (see http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/oram/all.html ) so it is strange they would move the critters out of their natural habitat just because some flowers were being stomped on.

    The Mountain Goat is not an animal to approach; if you see a herd, move away. Mountain goats do not have well developed vision compared to a deer, and their hearing and smell are poor. However, they can detect a nearby moving object and respond. I wonder what happened here.

    As for the comments about poo in the water….I think it takes more than the small numbers of goats we have to cause the drinking water issues you refer to.

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