Hun­dreds of goats air­lifted off their moun­tain to stop them caus­ing chaos

Iran Daily - - Entertainment -

Hun­dreds of goats have been air­lifted off their moun­tain — be­cause they are eat­ing too much. Heli­copters and trucks have been hastily work­ing to re­lo­cate them from the Olympic National Park in an ef­fort to pro­tect nat­u­ral re­sources, ac­cord­ing to

Pro­fes­sional crews used tran­quil­izer darts and net guns to cap­ture the an­i­mals from rocky ridges and slopes within the national park, lo­cated about 100 miles west of Seat­tle.

The an­i­mals were blind­folded, put into spe­cially made slings and air­lifted to a stag­ing area in the park.

They were ex­am­ined, col­lared with a track­ing de­vice, given flu­ids and then be­gan a jour­ney by truck and ferry to an­other area in the North Cas­cades to boost num­bers there.

From there, they were flown in crates and re­leased into alpine habi­tat.

A plan ap­proved by park of­fi­cials in June calls for about 375 goats to be moved to habi­tat in the North Cas­cades, where the an­i­mals are na­tive. They are the lucky ones. Park of­fi­cials es­ti­mate be­tween 275 and 325 goats that can’t be caught will even­tu­ally be shot and killed.

The goats were in­tro­duced to the area nearly a cen­tury ago, be­fore the national park was es­tab­lished.

How­ever they eat and tram­ple sen­si­tive veg­e­ta­tion, disturb soil when they wal­low and can be men­ac­ing to back­pack­ers and other vis­i­tors on trails, of­fi­cials said.

In 2010, an ag­gres­sive goat fa­tally charged at a hiker on a pop­u­lar trail who fol­lowed him and his com­pan­ions, re­new­ing con­cerns about safety.

The ‘ef­fort will re­lieve is­sues with non-na­tive moun­tain goats in the Olympics while bol­ster­ing de­pleted herds in the north­ern Cas­cades,’ Olympic National Park Su­per­in­ten­dent Sarah Creach­baum said in a state­ment.

Of­fi­cials have tried for decades to con­trol goats in the park.

They re­moved hun­dreds of the an­i­mals by he­li­copter in the 1980s.

It pro­posed shoot­ing hun­dreds from a he­li­copter in the 1990s but that idea was scrapped.

They also ex­per­i­mented with ster­il­iz­ing some an­i­mals to con­trol the pop­u­la­tion.

Be­tween 2004 and 2016, the goat pop­u­la­tion in the park more than dou­bled to 625.There are now about 725 an­i­mals.

Goats can be a nui­sance along heav­ily used trails and around wilder­ness camp­sites be­cause they seek out salt and min­er­als from hu­man urine, back­packs and sweat on cloth­ing, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

Penny Wag­ner, a park spokes­woman, said the goal is to re­lo­cate 100 by Sept. 24.

The hope is that be­tween now and next year, they’ll be able to re­lo­cate sev­eral hun­dred more goats, she said.

Rachel Bjork, a board mem­ber with North­west An­i­mal Rights Net­work, called the plan to kill hun­dreds of goats in­hu­mane.

She said the goats have been a part of the national park land­scape for decades and likely pro­vide ben­e­fits to the ecosys­tem that are be­ing over­looked.

She also wor­ried about mov­ing them to forests where they even­tu­ally could be sub­ject to hunt­ing.

But Rachel Blomker, a spokes­woman with the Wash­ing­ton Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife, said that while that could be the case, goat hunt­ing is very lim­ited, the sea­son is short and re­quires a spe­cial per­mit.

Blomker said the agency’s goal is to help boost the num­ber of goats in the North Cas­cades to a sus­tain­able pop­u­la­tion.

“That’s where they should be. That’s their na­tive habi­tat,” Blomker added.

Colton Whit­worth, a For­est Ser­vice spokesman, said, “So far, they all seem to be do­ing well. It should be a fairly easy tran­si­tion.”

In this cross­word there are two clues for each word. Can you work out which is true and which is false?

1. Bird / An­i­mal (4) 3. Arach­nid / Fish (8) 8. Ac­tive / In­ac­tive (5) 9. Gives / Gets (7) 11. Start / Fin­ish (3) 13. Sim­ple / Dif­fi­cult (4) 14. Gave money / Re­ceived money (4) 16. Stiff / Lithe (6) 17. Re­lat­ing to cat­tle / Re­lat­ing to bears (6) 20. Leg bone / Arm bone (4) 21. Ob­served / Unob­served (4) 22. Short sleep / Deep sleep (3) 24. Con­cealed / Con­spic­u­ous (7) 25. Ice hut / Wooden hut (5) 27. Pre­vent / Al­low (8) 28. Gives or­ders / Takes or­ders (4) 1. Au­thors / Vo­cal­ists (7) 2. Fib / Truth (3) 4. Ig­nore / Se­lect (6) 5. Ro­dents / Rep­tiles (4) 6. Gen­uine ar­ti­cle / Fake (9) 7. Church tower / Flat roof (7) 10. Happy / Un­happy (3) 12. Dou­ble / Triple (9) 15. Fre­netic / Calm (7) 18. Hires / Fires (7) 19. Tried / Un­tried (6) 20. Laugh / Cry (3) 23. Rise up / Drop down (4) 26. Star sign / Road sign (3)

CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES A res­cued baby gib­bon, seized from a vil­lager sus­pected of be­ing an an­i­mal trader, at a lo­cal na­ture con­ser­va­tion agency’s of­fice in Banda Aceh, In­done­sia.


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