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Goat that killed hiker labeled as “aggressive”

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Authorities that tracked down and killed a goat that gored and killed a hiker over the weekend announced today that the animal had shown aggressive behavior in the past. Park Rangers in Olympic National Park said that they had been tracking the animal for the past four years. There had been reports from other hikers that the animal was seen trailing them and would not back away when approached. Despite this, Rangers say it had not exhibited any behavior that would indicate it might attack.

Robert Boardman, 63, from Port Angeles, was attacked by the ram on Saturday. He had been hiking on the Switchback Trail located in the Olympic National Park. The trail is about 85 miles west of Seattle and is popular with locals fond of hiking. Boardman was found alive but died from the wounds he suffered later that day at Porta Angeles Hospital.

Rangers tracked and killed animal

After the attack Park Rangers began hunting for the animal they believed was behind the attack. When the found it, they found blood on its horns and shot the animal. The animal was then sent to animal pathologists for an autopsy. Tissue samples and blood samples had been taken Saturday night but Rangers say they were still awaiting test results.

Rangers had placed warning signs for hikers, telling them to stay at least 100 feet from any animals, including the goats. There are also signs and warnings from Rangers that hikers should not urinate near trails since goats are attracted to the salt.

Boardman had been hiking with his wife and a friend. They had stopped for lunch at an overlook when the goat approached them and began acting aggressive. At this point Boardman told the others to leave as he would try to distract and get rid of the animal. When his wife and friend hear him yell they ran back and found the goat standing over him as he lay on the ground motionless. Other hikers approached and began hurling rocks and waving blankets at the animal to finally scare it away. Boardman was then airlifted to a hospital.

The Park Rangers are looking to see if the goat had any kind of disease that might have made it more aggressive. However, Rangers have said that the goats are wild animals and any wild animal may act territorial or dangerous at some point. Some mountain goats have been known to be very territorial or to act aggressively towards anyone or anything that they perceive as a threat.

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