By Matt Kroschel

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildlife and the visitors flocking to public lands to spot them are getting too close for comfort. No where is that more visible than the summit of Mount Evans.

(credit: CBS)

Tuesday, CBS4 cameras captured people within feet of the wild goats, many with kids. Sometimes it’s the visitors making the move, and other times it’s the seemingly tame creatures walking right up to tourists.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers are well aware of the problem. Signs are posted around the area about the danger the animals pose.

(credit: CBS)

Even with a uniformed U.S. Forest Service employee standing nearby, the shear size of the crowd and the number of goats in the area made the challenge of policing the problem very apparent.

A photo shared on Facebook over the weekend, sparked a lot of responses from upset viewers saying people were too close to the wild animals. It showed a group of camera phone-holding tourists within feet of a goat and her young.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s a lot of one time visitors up here. They just aren’t thinking, they are on vacation mode,” USFS worker Patrick Shaw told CBS4 on the summit.
“This is their home, we need to respect that,” he added. Shaw then hollered over to a group of visitors standing near the bathrooms as a goat walked up to them on the path.

Parks and wildlife officials are beefing up a hazing program – using loud noises and even paintball guns to try to get the goats to move out of these very busy parking lots.

(credit: CBS)

Over the years many of the animals have become so accustomed to humans, they show no fear, even walking right up to people. There have also been cases of goats attacking hikers in Colorado, especially when they have young around.

Officials say they need visitors to do their part to help solve this problem by never feeding wildlife. They also ask people to use a zoom lens on the camera, and if an animals changes its behavior you are too close.

LINK: Viewing Mountain Goats

Matt Kroschel


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