Olympic National Forest officials have closed a popular Washington trail due to hikers' reports of menacing mountain goats, according to reports.
Stephanie Neil, recreation manager for the Hood Canal Ranger District of Olympic National Forest, told the Peninsula Daily News that in the last two weeks rangers had received a number of reports of goats coming within 10 feet of hikers on Mount Ellinor.
“Nobody has been hurt by the goats. But a number of people have felt threatened,” Neil told Peninsula Daily News.
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Olympic National Forest wildlife biologist Kurt Aluzas told the paper that mountain goats are powerful but for the most part are not aggressive. It is possible that the threatening goats may have been protecting their young, Aluzas said.
Goat attacks in Olympic National Forest are rare, though there have been a couple of attacks and a few close encounters in the past few years, according to the Peninsula Daily News.
Violating the no-go goat order could reportedly bring a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and six months in jail.