Killer goat 'had been aggressive'
Published 19/10/2010 | 07:34
A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behaviour in the past, US Olympic National Park officials have said.
Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, died on 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 85 miles west of Seattle.
Park rangers later found the goat, observed blood on it and shot the animal.
Rangers have been tracking the goat and others for the past four years because they have followed people or approached hikers without backing down, said park spokeswoman Barb Maynes.
"It has shown aggressive behaviour, however, nothing led us to believe it was appropriate to take the next level of removal," she said.
"This is a highly unusual. There's no record of anything similar in this park. It's a tragedy. We are taking it extremely seriously and doing our best to learn as much as we can."
Park officials have posted signs at trailheads warning hikers to be watchful of all goats and to stay at least 100 feet from the animals.
Hikers are also warned not to urinate on or near the trail, because goats are attracted to the salt.
A necropsy, or animal autopsy, was conducted on the goat on Sunday night by a private certified veterinary pathologists. Park officials are awaiting test results of blood and tissue samples, which may take a couple weeks, Ms Maynes said.