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Washington Man Dies After Encounter With Mountain Goat in Olympic National Park


Olympic National Park officials are trying to determine if a 63-year-old Washington man was killed during an encounter with a mountain goat in the park's backcountry.

Park officials said Robert H. Boardman of Port Angeles died Saturday afternoon after sustaining injuries while hiking near the park's Klahhane Ridge.

While the matter remains under investigation, a park release said "early investigations indicate that Boardman’s injuries were sustained after an encounter with a mountain goat."

Park staff were on scene shortly after the initial report and provided emergency medical assistance. The man was was transported by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, where he was pronounced dead.

"Rangers responding to the incident were able to locate the goat, confirm its identity and kill it. The goat will be transported to a veterinary pathologist for full analysis," the release said.

Klahhane Ridge is located near Hurricane Ridge, about 17 miles south of Port Angeles.


I am sure that there is a lot more to this story and I am anxious to hear more details. Having encountered Mountain goats frequently at Glacier NP, I still realize that they're wild animals and should be treated with respect. With the limited information so far, I don't understand the reasoning behind killing the goat. Like I said, there has to be more to this than what is initially being released!

There are more details in the local news, but nothing about why the goat was killed:

I agree with Ms. Hopkins - any such encounter with a wild animal, on it's own turf, while although unfortunate does NOT deserve to result in the animals' death.
It is man encroaching on the animal, in a protected setting for that animal, and one must realize & accept responsibility as well as the consequences for effectively "tresspassing".
Punishing the animal for protecting what it considers "home" is tantamount to prosecuting a homeowner for protecting his family.

All this summer and fall, before and after many mosey meanders within the Hurricane Ridge environs, Rangers would warn me that there was a Mountain Goat exhibiting aggressive behavior toward visitors in the area.
Just sayin'...

The article Tahoma linked has an easily-missed sidebar on the right about the destruction of the goat. Apparently it had been known to be aggressive for several years but had never attacked anyone before now.

Domestic sheep have a disease called Scrapie, domestic cattle have been infected with bovine spongiform encephalitis, and deer and elk in Wyoming suffer from wasting disease--all very similar, and all causing problems in the brain. Could this unusually aggressive mountain sheep have a form of one of these diseases? If so, should hunters be warned? In humans this sort of disease takes many, from 14 to 40 or so, years to exhibit symptoms, and is devastating. Another form of this possible variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is kuru, from a tribe in New Guinea. A researcher won the Nobel prize in 1976 when he showed kuru was transmissible to chimpanzees. These are prion diseases. Check out Wikipedia for more information.

A 60 year experienced hiker is attacked by a known aggressive mountain goat and Connie and Bill villify him for "tresspassing". He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This poor man was trying to enjoy nature and he did not provoke the animal.
I am sure Connie and Bill are commenting based on their PHD's in animal behavior and know more than park rangers.
And Bill, you think this man's death is just "unfortunate"? Why don't you speak with his wife, his friends and all of the people he helped in his health care career before you write something so callous.

It's called WILDerness, not MILDerness. And if you walk into the wilderness, you are potentially provoking any number of animals, from bees to bears. They operate on instinct, not logic, or long-term thought processes. My sympathies go out to the family of the deceased, but come on, the goat was doing what the creator intended it to do. Next time I hope they will close the trail if there's a problem or consider relocating the goat to steeper pastures.

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