Trail reopens after goat re-education

HOODSPORT — The Forest Service has reopened a popular trail in the Olympic National Forest in Washington after a wildlife biologist spent much of the summer teaching aggressive mountain goats that people are to be avoided.

The trail up Mount Ellinor was closed in early July after several groups of hikers reported encountering very assertive goats. Forest Service officials said hikers who fed goats in the past or let them lick hands or backpacks for salt helped cause the behavior.

As many as 20 goats have been observed on the trail.

During much of the summer, KING-TV said Forest Service employee Kurt Aluzas shot paintballs, sprayed repellant and used his voice to clear the trails of goats. He suggested that hikers yell and stand their ground if they run into a mountain goat.

The trail reopened Monday.

A 63-year-old Port Angeles man was fatally gored in October 2010 by a 370-pound mountain goat on a trail in Olympic National Park.

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