Olympic National Park Mountain Goat Killed Man after Regular Abuse

Mountain goatIf you saw a mountain goat in the United States, would you run? Likely not, as there is not much danger associated with the creature, Though a little muscular, it’s not normally seen as an aggressive animal or threat to humans. However, one billy goat in Washington State changed people’s perception during 2010. That sharp-horned animal approached and gored a man in his thigh, causing him to die of excessive blood loss.

To this day there are many questions about why the attack happened. The victim, whose name was Robert Boardman, was a 63-year-old man simply touring Olympic National Park in Washington at the time of the deadly charge. He was at the wildlife-filled nature reserve with his wife Susan Chadd and long-time friend Pat Willits when the event occurred.

The victim’s two companions claim the mountain goat was being aggressive. The buck was looking as if it wanted to charge the group so Robert told them to go ahead, while he fended the animal off. Instead, however, the robust critter got the better of him with its horns. With a fast charge at the man, it dug a horn into the thigh of Boardman.

As the 63-year-old lay on the ground, the mountain goat was relentless. It would not allow people on the same park trail close enough to help the fatally wounded man. Due to that aggressiveness, everyone had to wait for a professionally trained rescue group to help, which took over an hour.

“The mountain goat was terribly aggressive,” said Jessica Baccus, a hiker also at Olympic National Park with her family. She continued, “It wouldn’t move. It stared us down.”

Jessica and her husband Bill got the mountain goat to leave the lifeless body of Boardman after several attempts. The couple tried pelting the big billy goat with rocks, shouting to distract and make the wild creature back down and go away, and last flashing a silver blanket. The last tactic worked. Immediately after getting the goat to exit the scene, Mrs Baccus tried to give the fallen senior CPR, helping the victim to breathe until rescuers arrived.

The mountain buck never came back and Boardman was airlifted by the US Coastguard to the hospital closest to the Olympic National Park. He was pronounced dead later.

Since this event Park Rangers have pressed park guests about being aware of the wildlife, especially mountain goats. Trails now have warnings signs posted to remind people of the dangers. Those touring are also told by officials to stay at least 100 feet away from these horned creatures. Anyone that violates rules is putting their own life at danger, but unfortunately these new rules are too late for the earlier victim.

Veterinarians and Olympic park officials both agree the mountain goat’s behaviour was beyond strange. It’s not normal for these animals to be so aggressive. However, it has been found out since the 2010 incident that the killer goat was repeatedly hazed with bean bag pellets, which may have created a hatred for humans in the animal’s character.

No other incidents were recorded about mountain goats deliberately killing humans prior to Boardman’s death, nor have any been recorded since. However, the story serves as a reminder that animals in the wild are unpredictable and you must exercise caution when approaching them.

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