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.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 52°
Brookings
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 68°
Crater Lake
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 52°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 52°
Klamath Falls
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 51°
Dry and mild Monday with good air quality
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events