13 Mountain goats killed, 76 relocated in Olympic capture effort

Roger Harnack

An effort to relocate Olympic National Forest mountain goats ended Friday with 76 successfully moved and 13 killed.
According to state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials, nine goats were killed in the capture effort, three euthanized and one perished in transit.
Four of the goats were killed because they could not be safely captured, officials said.
The goats were moved from the Olympic Mountains to the North Cascades over a two-week period, officials said, noting Leading Edge Aviation conducted the aerial capture effort. Efforts to relocate additional mountain goats are planned for two weeks in mid-August.
Captures are planned in the Mount Ellinor area.
Leading Edge used a helicopter and shartshooters with tranquilizer and net guns to capture the mountain goats and transport them to a staging area at Hurricane Ridge and Hamma Hamma before moving them in refrigerated trucks to the Box Canyon, Chikamin Ridge, Whitechuck, Index Mountain and Preacher Mountain areas in the North Cascades.
“I am extremely grateful to the capture crew, park staff and all of the partners and volunteers who worked so hard during the coldest and wettest two weeks of July imaginable,” Olympic National Park Wildlife Branch Chief Patti Happe said.
State officials and biologists in the National Park Service said the translocation is necessary to try to re-establish mountain goat populations in the North Cascades while at the same time removing the non-native species from the Olympics.
The relocation effort also followed incidents in recent years in which mountain goats gored hikers.
Mountain goats were introduced into the Olympic Mountains in the 1920s, officials said.