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Habituated Mountain Goats are Creating Mayhem in Colorado

At a quick glance, mountain goats seem like adorable unassuming creatures. They’re just like the ones at the petting zoo, right? False. You don’t want to mess with one. They’re not the friendliest considering one even attacked and killed a hiker in Olympic National Park. So when wildlife officials up at the Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado started seeing tourists come within five feet of the animals they became concerned.

RELATED: Eight Ways to Die in Yellowstone: An Annotated Guide

Not only is this increased proximity a danger to humans, but it’s changing the behavior of these animals. Now they’re sauntering up to cars to lick their tires, following tourists for food, and even climbing on top of cars. Humans feeding the goats are largely to blame because it's habituating the animals.

Goats are even now climbing on top of cars, which is very unusual for them.

To curb the rising mountain goat anarchy, rangers are hazing the animals through a variety of means: loud sounds, cattle prods, tasers, and paintball guns. The hazing might seem extreme, but then again at least they’re not being euthanized like the bears in Yellowstone.

All in all, this is another important reminder to not feed, approach, or pick up wild animals because it impacts them more than you'd think. For proper safety guidelines, check out the Forest Service's mountain goat protocol.

About The Author

stash member Katie Lozancich

TGR Staff Writer and photographer. Fond of bikes, pow, and dogs. Originally from Northern CA, home for me has ranged from the PNW to a teepee in Grand Teton National Park.