Goats Attracted to Hikers' Urine Airlifted Out of Olympic National Park

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

 A strange craving has gotten the mountain goats living in the Mount Olympus area of Washington in some trouble. 

According to Popular Mechanics, the mountain goats have developed an insatiable thirst for human urine, which provides a strong source of salt and minerals. 

The goats, which are not a native species to the park, have blossomed in numbers, as have the number of hikers in the area, which regularly urinate along the trail. 

Because the minerals necessary to the goats' diet are scarce, the animals have become a pest along these trails and wilderness campsites while they search for human urine, as well as sweat on backpacks and clothing. They often paw and dig areas on the ground where hikers have urinated or disposed of cooking wastewater. This frequent goat/human interaction is a safety concern. In fact, a hiker was gored to death at the park in 2010.

In conjunction with the National Park Services (NPS) and the USDA Forest Service, park authorities have begun tagging, blindfolding and airlifting the goats to the nearby forests in the North Cascades using helicopters. Fitted with GPS collars, the goats are ferried in pairs to nine sites in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The sites should provide a better environment for the growing goat herd where they can roam free with less human interaction.

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