May 27, 2023

Feds Immune In Deadly Mountain Goat Attack

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 SEATTLE (CN) – The National Park Service is not responsible for a mountain-goat attack that killed a hiker in Olympic National Park, the Ninth Circuit ruled.
A divided three-judge panel on Monday found the Park Service had no duty to destroy the animal despite numerous complaints about its aggressive behavior.
Robert Boardman was hiking with his wife, Susan Chadd, and a friend in Washington state’s Olympic National Park when they encountered the goat in October 2010. They were on a popular trail near Klahhane Ridge when they encountered the goat, known as “Klahhane Billy.”

Source: Courthouse News Service

*Editor’s Note* – In a related email, Dr. Valerius Geist was quoted as saying, “I was involved as an expert witness for the plaintiff in the first court case, and discovered – again – that the park had no biologist experienced in animal behavior. Nobody in charge recognized what the billy was signalling, long before it attacked. The billy had begun a very long time before the attack signalling its dominance over humans, initially in a weakly expressed dominance display. That’s what a big billy will do testing a rival. It means that – eventually – it will attack. That’s a guarantee. Nobody in the park understood that, and probably still don’t! A mountain goat displaying to humans has to be removed. That was not done, and the tragedy continued to its predictable end.”