Can you handle a mountain goat? Last year’s Olympic National Park goat-related fatality—a man was gored on Klahhane Ridge—was the first known occasion of an animal killing a human in the park. The aggressive animal was euthanized by rangers the next day, but the man’s family is striking back with a wrongful-death and personal-injury lawsuit, reportedly for $10 million.
Olympic National Park spokesperson Barb Maynes told Seattle Weekly how to best deal with a grumpy goat: "If a goat approaches, then we recommend chasing the animal away by yelling, waving arms and coats, and throwing rocks. Then report it to the nearest ranger station immediately. If actions like throwing rocks and yelling don’t work, then retreat."
Park officials are considering removing the goats from the park; since they were introduced as hunting targets in the 1920s, they don’t represent the natural state of the Olympics. But it’s a job made difficult by their hilly habitat and massive size (you try tranquilizing and hauling out a 350-pound shag carpet with horns).
Want to see the goats before they’re gone? Check out our wildlife guide to Olympic National Park, and remember to keep your distance. Or maybe go look at the salmon instead—they haven’t gored anyone yet.