Watch: Mountain Goats Airlifted From a Washington National Park

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ Visitors to Washington’s Olympic National Park may have caught a glimpse of goats up in the sky this week. No, it’s not a new (superhero) species.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) airlifted non-native mountain goats from remote parts of Olympic National Park as part of the agency’s efforts to relocate them to the Cascade Mountains, where they’re needed. Stay on targetcenter_img A video posted to the agency’s Facebook page on Monday show three goats being transported.“Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades,” Jesse Plumage, a U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist, said in a news release.Animal capture specialists called “gunners” and “muggers” sedate the animals with darts or capture them in nets, blindfold them, pad their horns and fly them – on slings dangling from a helicopter – to a staging area.The goats are then looked over by veterinarians and outfitted with tracking collars before being transported to the Cascades and once again flown by helicopter, this time into their new alpine habitats.The two-week goat relocation mission started on Monday and Tuesday, when the WDFW captured 17 goats, including a kid about 6 weeks old, which got a ride on a mugger’s lap inside the helicopter instead of hanging beneath it.There are six designated sites in the Cascades that the animals will be released to.According to the National Park Service, humans introduced mountain goats to the Olympic Mountains, where they are not a native species. Their population quickly grew, posing a problem for the more than 20 native plants and animals on the Olympic Peninsula.Goats grazing in Olympic National Park. (Photo Credit: Jordan Siemens / Getty Images)The goat have also become aggressive and dangerous to humans and hikers in the Olympics. The Olympics have few natural salt licks, so goats there are more likely to be attracted to the sweat, urine, and food of hikers, potentially endangering them. One goat fatally gored a hiker in 2010.In the Cascade Mountains, however, the goat populations are slow to recover from over-hunting.Efforts to relocate 115 of the roughly 725 mountain goats in the Olympics to the Cascades began last year. A coalition of state and federal agencies and American Indian tribes is behind the effort, which involves closing parts of the park.More on Police ‘Drop Charges’ Against Goat That Chased WomanStudy: Humans Are Pushing Elephants Out of Their Natural HabitatArctic Fox Stuns Scientists With Epic Trek from Norway to Canadalast_img read more