Did Years of Hazing Turn a Mountain Goat Into a Cold-Blooded Killer?

A hiker in Washington's Olympic National Park was gored to death by a mountain goat while picnicking on Saturday. The goat was notoriously aggressive, and park rangers had been "hazing" the animal for years by shooting it with bean bags.

63-year-old Robert Boardman was an experienced hiker and was on a Saturday walk with his wife and a friend, when a mountain goat approached. Boardman tried to scare the animal away and told his wife and friend to move along while he distracted it. He was gored in the thigh and later died of his wounds. A witness said people tried to get to Boardman, but the goat stuck around: "The rescue workers were trying to get in there, but the goat wouldn't leave. Eventually, they got a group of people together to scare him away, but he was still guarding the area an hour later."

The killer goat was well known around the park for being aggressive, and for years rangers had been hazing the animal with bean bags and encouraging people to throw rocks at him if he got too close, park spokesman Barb Maynes told the Peninsula Daily News. Rangers later found the goat and killed it. But maybe the park's policy of harassing the animal and encouraging visitors to hurl rocks at it for years wasn't such a great idea? A tranquilizer gun and an airlift to a more remote location may have worked.

[Image via Getty]