Mountain goat population reaches record high in Bridgers - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Mountain goat population reaches record high in Bridgers

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BOZEMAN -

A new study shows the mountain goat population in the Bridger Mountains has reached a record high.

The Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance recently completed a project counting the animals and documented the highest count ever recorded in the area of at least 79 goats and as many as 83.

Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance Founder, Pete Muennich, says the animals are becoming increasingly acclimated to humans, which poses a risk to both.

 “Encountering habituated goats in the Bridger Mountains is an unavoidable situation,” Muennich said. “We're not going to solve that problem overnight; what we can do is educate people on how to behave around animals, remember that they are wild animals respect their space as much as you can.”

Gallatin Co. Sheriff Brian Gootkin says Sunday morning a Spokane woman was hit by a bowling ball-sized rock knocked loose by mountain goats she was photographing on the Bridger Ridge Trail.

Sheriff Gootkin says the woman suffered a severe laceration to her leg and had to be airlifted off the mountain.

Muennich, and wildlife managers with Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says this is no reflection of the animals behavior, but a freak accident.

Muennich says if you do run into a mountain goat, keep your dogs under control and move away.

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