Goats Airlifted Out of Washington’s Olympic National Park

A two-week long goat relocation effort comes to a close this month.

Mountain goats from Olympic National Park, Washington, touched down in the North Cascades during a relocation project this month. The National Park Service has plans to relocate two more goat groups next year. The goal is to boost a dwindling goat population in the Cascades and address issues in Olympic National Park, where the goats are not native. “Mountain goats cause significant impacts to the park ecosystem as well as public safety concerns,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

The process is like a real-life video game: Crew members shoot the goats with tranquilizer darts and capture them with nets before blindfolding and saddling them into custom-made, neon orange harnesses. The goats are then helicoptered to a staging area to receive fluids and tracking devices before the final leg of their journey via truck and ferry.

So far, the NPS has moved 115 goats from Olympic National Park to five different sites in the Cascades. They plan to move just short of 700 goats throughout the coming years.