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Mountain Goat

A male mountain goat, previously undocumented in the Wind River Range, was spotted by Katie Mortenson near Fremont Peak on Aug. 22, 2009. Grand Teton National Park officials are considering removing the non-native species from the park to protect native bighorn sheep.

MOOSE — Spotting a mountain goat perched high on a cliff might thrill many visitors to a national park in Wyoming, but park officials say the agile animals might need to go.

Grand Teton National Park officials say the park's 100 or so mountain goats threaten a herd of about 80 bighorn sheep.

The bighorn sheep herd had as many as 125 animals just a few years ago. The goats are thriving but spread disease and compete with the bighorns for food.

Park officials announced Tuesday they're taking public comment on a plan to kill or relocate the mountain goats, or send them to zoos.

Mountain goats and bighorn sheep are both native to the Rocky Mountain region. Grand Teton's mountain goats descended from a population introduced outside the park decades ago.

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