Mountain goats at Mount Evans are acting strange, and it has nothing to do with the Demogorgon.
This past Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife issued a warning for visitors who drive up the scenic byway to Mount Evans. They ask that everyone who visits Mount Evans to do their part in keeping wildlife safe and thriving. This means keeping a safe distance, do not feed the animals, and do not damage their territory. Sounds like common sense, but why now?
They reported a new, unusual behavior: mountain goats are now going up to vehicles (as seen in the video below) and licking the salt off of car tires. After observations from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, and Denver Mountain Parks, they discovered that this behavior is a direct result of people feeding wildlife or getting too close to the mountain goats.
Wildlife Officer Joe Nicholson says,
We have been taking a collaborative approach with the Forest Service and Denver Mountain Parks to help combat an increase in human-wildlife conflicts we are seeing in Mount Evans. The agencies will be up there all summer monitoring activity and actively enforcing or using aversive conditioning techniques with the hope that we can curb small problems from growing into worse or even dangerous encounters.
Of course, mountain goats licking car tires aren't the only unusual behavior they saw. Other strange behaviors included: putting heads inside car windows, running towards the sound of crinkling food wrappers, running towards people with food, and tolerating large amounts of people in their personal space. Some people have even gone as far as picking up the mountain goat kids to take pictures with them.
It's completely obvious that this is a serious issue. CPW has recommended to put up physical barriers to prevent goats from entering the restrooms. They have also recommended to not use salt around human-friendly areas such as restrooms, parking lots, and pathways on Mount Evans. Salt is used to de-ice the roads, but it is also super-enticing to mountain goats (they crave that mineral!). So, multiple efforts are being taken to reduce human-wildlife encounters.
But what can you do to help?
Follow the tips above! Never feed any kind of wildlife, no matter how friendly they seem. Take your photos and videos from a safe distance. Most importantly, animals that are found in the wild are wild. Do not pick them up or pet them. You can still visit Mount Evans this summer, but be alert and careful of any goats you may see.
What do you think of these strange behaviors? Let us know in the comments.