Hundreds of mountain goats are being airlifted out of Olympic National Park in Washington State, partially because they just really love drinking human pee.
Mountain Goats are not native to the national park, having been introduced there in the 1920s. Because of this, they’re actually considered an invasive species, and a threat to local vegetation. So officials have long planned to move them from Olympic National Park to the North Cascades about 100 miles to the northeast.
he pressure grew when an aggressive goat killed a hiker in the park in 2010. It seemed the goats were spending more time close to humans, and the reason is pretty simple.
Goats love pee. Goats need salt, and humans are about as salty as they come. Places in the park where humans hang out a) don’t have predators around, and b) have lots of humans peeing. This trend has been observed in national parks around the country. Wherever there’s people, the goats find safety and pee.
So this removal from Olympic National Park is kind of like Mountain Goat Rehab. They’re going to be taken to the North Cascades, where there’s tons of natural salt to help them kick the human urine habit. And the fact that this is actually for the benefit of the goats makes it easier to swallow the visual of them being tied up and airlifted out.
A team of skilled professionals was used to help evacuate the goats, which can weigh upwards of 350 pounds. Unfortunately, the team estimates that at least a few hundred goats will not be successfully wrangled, and will thus be shot and killed.
And that aspect of this story is pretty upsetting.
The indie folk band The Mountain Goats have not yet commented.
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