Aggressive Goats Get Idaho Trail Closed

It seems they expect food from humans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2015 5:40 PM CDT
Aggressive Goats Get Idaho Trail Closed
In this photo taken on July 8, 2015, the mountain goats of Twin Lakes Basin stand on the Elkhorn Mountains of Eastern Oregon west of Baker City.   (Zach Urness/Statesman-Journal via AP)

The US Forest Service has temporarily closed a northern Idaho hiking trail over concerns about aggressive mountain goats after one animal bit a hiker and others reportedly tried to head-butt or charge visitors. Scotchman Peak Trail, which leads to the summit of Bonner County's tallest mountain, was closed Friday, the Daily Bee reported. Visitors to the trail have been offering food to the goats or even allowing them to eat from their hands, according to the Forest Service. That can cause the animals to behave aggressively in an attempt to get food from humans.

"The temporary closure is intended to allow time for the goats to find other sources of food beyond handouts provided by hikers and to reduce their willingness to approach humans," Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokesman Jason Kirchner says in a news release. One hiker was bitten by a goat in June and required multiple stitches, the Forest Service says. In a guest opinion published by the Daily Bee last year, a former Fish and Game biologist said it's risky for hikers to feed goats or allow them to satisfy salt cravings by licking human skin. "Feeding creates an expectation of salt or food from anyone that hikes to the top of the peak," she wrote. (More strange stuff stories.)

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