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Mountain goat suspected in death of Wash. hiker

Image: Robert Boardman
Robert Boardman, 63, pauses during a hike in Olympic National Park in 2007 in Washington. Boardman, of Port Angeles, Wash., was a devoted hiker, diabetes nurse and musician. Rangers in Washington state suspect an encounter with a mountain goat killed a 63-year-old hiker in Olympic National Park on Saturday.PENNINSULA DAILY NEWS
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

Rangers in Washington state suspect an encounter with a mountain goat killed a 63-year-old hiker in Olympic National Park.

The park service says Robert H. Boardman, of Port Angeles, was hurt Saturday as he hiked near the park's Klahhane Ridge and died hours later at a Port Angeles hospital.

The Peninsula Daily News reported that Boardman, his wife, Susan Chadd, and their friend Pat Willits, had stopped for lunch at an overlook when the goat appeared and moved toward them. Apparently, the goat had begun to act aggressively and Boardman tried shooing him away.

As he was trying to leave the area, the Peninsula Daily News reported that the goat attacked him, goring him in the thigh. The animal then hovered over Boardman as he lay bleeding.

An off-duty park ranger tried to get the animal away, first by shaking a safety blanket at it and then by pelting it with rocks.

Rangers later tracked down and killed the animal, which will be analyzed by a veterinary pathologist.

According to the Peninsula Daily News, some 300 mountain goats live in Olympic National Park, and while some aggression among the goats has been observed, there have been no similar incidents to the one that happened on Saturday.