After the unfortunate death of a mountain goat, Alaska residents and visitors have been urged not to act like the paparazzi when they encounter wildlife. The goat, which had apparently wandered down from a mountain into the city of Seward, drowned on Saturday while trying to escape a crowd that had followed it through downtown streets, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. After it had already been in the water once, "a large amount of people followed the goat towards the SeaLife Center on the rocks, resulting in the goat jumping back into the water," state troopers wrote in a press release. "The goat was unable to come back to the rocks due to the people standing on the rocks. The goat ended up drowning in the water."
Witnesses tell KTUU that the mountain goat, which had made its way downtown pursued by animal control officers, was unable to find its way out of town because onlookers got in the way taking photographs. One witness who called authorities to report people harassing the goat says loose dogs also scared the goat, including a spaniel that swam out to it when it was in the water. "It is imperative that wildlife is given adequate space to be able to leave a congested area like downtown Seward," troopers wrote. People "not giving the animal space and getting close to take photos resulted in a wild animal dying for no cause." (Read more Alaska stories.)