STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The government is blindfolding mountain goats to fly them back to their native habitat in Washington

If you see some blindfolded goats soaring through the sky, don't freak out.It's just the US government relocating the mountain goats from Olympic Nati...

Posted: Jul 10, 2019 1:50 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2019 7:45 PM

If you see some blindfolded goats soaring through the sky, don't freak out.

It's just the US government relocating the mountain goats from Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington to their natural habitat in the northern Cascade Mountains.

The government has hired a private contractor that specializes in the capture and transport of wild animals, the National Park Service said. A helicopter crew will use immobilizing darts and net guns to capture the goats, which are blindfolded so they don't panic and then flown to a staging area; from there, they're taken by truck to the Cascades.

In the 1920s, humans introduced mountain goats to the Olympics, according to the National Park Service. However, the goats' presence -- which has boomed over the years -- threatens 20 native plants and animals that are unique to the Olympic Peninsula.

The goats' population has more than doubled over the past 12 years, according to a 2016 US Geological Survey report. There are an estimated 725 in the Olympics area now, the park service says.

In addition, the service says, some goats have become aggressive and dangerous to humans. They're are attracted to mineral salt licks that are found in the Cascades, but because there are no mineral salt licks in Olympic National Park, they have sought out humans' salty sweat and urine.

Native goat populations in the Cascades have been slow to recover from overhunting.

'Mountain goat relocation will allow these animals to reoccupy historical range areas in the Cascades and increase population viability,' US Forest Service wildlife biologist Jesse Plumage said.

The goal is to get to zero

Eventually, the agencies hope to eradicate the mountain goats from the Olympic National Forest. As of now, they are planning to use only capture and relocation.

'However, once capture operations become impractical or hazardous due to steep terrain the remaining goats would be removed by lethal means,' the National Park Service says.

This is the second time the park service, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Forest Service have conducted a relocation operation. A September run removed 115 mountain goats from the Olympics.

Some trails and visitor areas in Olympic National Forest will be closed during the two-week operation, lasting through July 19. The agencies are planning another operation for August 19 through 30.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 43793

Reported Deaths: 673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9502166
Marion6024109
Washington599178
Umatilla343545
Clackamas326766
Lane246727
Malheur194938
Jackson17967
Deschutes118513
Yamhill101315
Linn84515
Polk66815
Jefferson60710
Morrow5517
Lincoln51813
Union4842
Benton4636
Klamath4223
Douglas3688
Wasco34916
Hood River2841
Columbia2711
Josephine2703
Coos2601
Clatsop2480
Baker1403
Crook1132
Tillamook740
Curry581
Wallowa492
Lake430
Harney350
Sherman200
Grant120
Gilliam110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Grants Pass
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 37°
Klamath Falls
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 25°
Cooler & breezy Friday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events