SEATTLE (AP) — Four years after a mountain goat fatally gored a hiker in Olympic National Park, officials are looking at ways to manage the goats to protect public safety and the environment.
The National Park Service is evaluating preliminary options, including capturing and relocating the goats to the Washington Cascades, increasing hazing activities, killing them, doing nothing, or some combination of those approaches.
Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, was fatally attacked in October 2010 by a 370-pound mountain goat on a popular trail in Olympic National Park, about 75 miles west of Seattle. He was trying to protect his wife and a friend when the goat gored him, severing arteries in his thigh.
The goat was believed to have been one that harassed park visitors for years. Boardman's widow, Susan Chadd, later sued the federal government for negligence in its management of the goat, but a federal judge in Tacoma eventually dismissed her claims.
Rangers shot the aggressive goat later that day. An exam done on the goat showed no disease or other significant health issues.
Mountain goats, which are not native to Olympic National Park, have long posed a problem for park officials.
Helicopters were used in the 1980s to capture and remove the goats because they were damaging the park's fragile alpine vegetation and soil.
But the fatal attack in 2010 has raised new concerns about the goats' presence, the park said Monday in announcing that it is preparing an environmental impact statement on its goat-management plan.
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