Man killed by goat in Olympic National Park was experienced hiker
By Diane Urbani de la Paz and Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News
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Park rangers knew goat was aggressiveThe mountain goat that killed a 63-year-old Port Angeles man Saturday was no stranger to Olympic National Park rangers.
Barb Maynes, park spokeswoman, said the ram was known for its aggressive behavior, including reports of it following people along the trails around Klahhane Ridge.
The park had been monitoring the ram for "the last several years," she said.
Bob Boardman, who died after the animal gored him in the leg, was the first person that the park knows of being attacked by the ram or any of the park's other goats, which number about 300.
Maynes said the park had tried hazing the ram -- by shooting it with bean bags, throwing rocks and other means to induce it to be frightened of people -- but stopped short of any plans to kill it.
"We had no reports of any kind of incidents escalating above the point that would warrant [killing the ram]," Maynes said.
An animal would be killed, she said, if it had made "physical contact" with someone.
Rangers shot and killed the ram, which was about eight or nine years old, about an hour after Saturday's attack.
They identified the animal after seeing blood on it, Maynes said.
She said the park had focused on educating trail users about the aggressive ram by posting warnings at trailheads and providing flyers at park buildings.
The signs will remain, Maynes said, since it's possible that other goats have shown aggressive behavior.
The park recommends staying 100 feet from all wildlife.
Maynes said the park takes the attack "extremely seriously" and will review how it handled the goat's behavior.
But she said it's too early to tell if more should have been done.
"It's way too early to talk about anything like that," she said. "We just need to learn everything we can about what happened today."
Tom Callis/Peninsula Daily News
Boardman, 63, his wife, Susan Chadd, and their friend, Pat Willits, had gone for a day hike on the Switchback Trail to Klahhane Ridge, which is near Hurricane Ridge about 17 miles south of Port Angeles.
The three had stopped for lunch at an overlook when a goat appeared and moved toward them, said Jessica Baccus, who arrived on the scene at about 1:20 p.m.
Baccus, also out for a day hike with her husband and their children, saw Willits, her longtime friend, coming up the trail.
Willits told Baccus that when the goat had begun behaving aggressively, Boardman had urged her and Chadd to leave the scene.
Then Boardman, an experienced hiker, tried to carefully shoo the ram away.
Willits told Baccus that although Boardman tried also to leave, the goat attacked him, goring him in the thigh.
"Nobody saw what actually happened. They heard Bob yell," Baccus said.
The goat stayed, standing over Boardman, who lay on the ground bleeding.
Bill Baccus, a park ranger not on duty but familiar with mountain goat behavior, moved forward with a safety blanket and shook it at the goat, he said.
He also pelted it with rocks, and after what seemed like a long time, "it moved away, but it stayed close by," Jessica Baccus said.
At 1:23 p.m., park rangers called the Coast Guard, while Jessica Baccus began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Boardman.
At the same time, her husband sought to keep the goat from coming closer again, and kept other hikers away.
After receiving the call, a four-person Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles that had been headed for Neah Bay turned around, returned to Port Angeles to pick up a litter in which to lift Boardman, and made it to Klahhane Ridge at 1:51 p.m., Lt. Commander Scott Sanborn said.
An emergency medical technician was lowered to administer electric shock in an attempt to revive Boardman.
He had no pulse, Sanborn said, and was lifted into the helicopter. The crew restarted CPR while in the air.
Boardman arrived at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles at 2:47 p.m., where further efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, OMC nursing supervisor Pattijo Hoskins said.
After the helicopter departed the ridge, park rangers were able to shoot and kill the ram at about 3:15 p.m., park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.
Some 300 mountain goats live in Olympic National Park. Warnings about their aggressiveness have been issued, but Maynes said she knows of no other incident like the one that occurred Saturday.
With the helicopter gone, Bill Baccus took his children back home while Jessica and Willits walked Boardman's wife, Susan, down the Switchback Trail, and then drove her to the hospital.
The couple married last December after many years together. They have taken countless hikes, from Olympic National Park to the Dolomites of Italy.
Boardman, in addition to serving as a diabetes educator at OMC, worked for many years as a nurse with the North Olympic Peninsula's Native American communities, including the Makah and Lower Elwha Klallam tribes.
He was a guitarist and mandolin player with the Black Diamond Fiddle Club, and helped organize the monthly community dances at the Black Diamond Hall south of Port Angeles.
He was also a writer who worked for a time at The Leader in Port Townsend.
A skilled woodworker, he transformed the home where he and Susan lived near Little River.
Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at email@example.com
Last modified: October 17. 2010 1:51PM