Goats can fly in Utah. With the help of a helicopter.
And they’re flying for a good reason. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) occasionally relocate mountain goats from areas at risk of overpopulation from across North America.
The goats are flown to areas of Utah where the animals haven’t thrived, such as Willard Peak and Mount Sutton, to keep the state’s herd healthy and viable.
It may sound easy, but because they can access remote areas with difficult terrain, getting a goat to fly isn’t as easy as herding them onto to helicopter.
“It’s incredible where they can access,” says Kent Hersey , manager of the state’s mountain goats for DWR.“You see them on these cliffsides, and you wonder how the heck they can get there.”
Wildlife professionals have to scout out mountain goats by flying over the terrain and net the animals by firing a pneumatic net gun.
After that, the experts calm the animals, restrain them in bags and then fly them to a staging area. There, the goats are examined, tagged and taken to a release area. The DWR says the goats have to be moved quite far from their original habitats because the animals have good homing instincts.
The DWR introduced mountain goats to Utah and maintains a statewide herd of about 2,000.