• Outdoors Outdoors

Hikers record dangerously close encounter with mountain goats in national park: ‘I applaud you’

An adult goat and two kids happened to be taking the opposite route.

An adult goat and two kids happened to be taking the opposite route.

Photo Credit: TikTok

The Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana, can be treacherous at the best of times. Loose stones on the path can make walking difficult, while the sheer drops are enough to give anyone vertigo.

Now imagine you’re negotiating the path, and you’re greeted by a family of mountain goats heading your way.

That’s what happened to one group tackling the trail, and they caught the remarkable encounter on video.

@risa_nelson Last summer on the Highline trail. This little family of mountain goats kept getting closer, we gave them plenty of space until they made it clear they just wanted to pass us. One of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced!! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #hikingtiktok #glaciernationalpark #leavenotrace #nationalparks #nature #hiking #crazyexperience #yeswegavethemspace #wildlife ♬ original sound – Marisa Nelson

An adult goat and two kids happened to be taking the opposite route, but thankfully, these tourists had the presence of mind to keep out of the way, remain still and calm, and let the goats pass without bothering them. 

“This little family of mountain goats kept getting closer, we gave them plenty of space until they made it clear they just wanted to pass us,” TikToker Marisa Nelson (@risa_nelson) captioned the post. “One of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced!!”

Mountain goats can be dangerous, as their behavior is unpredictable and their sharp horns and bodily strength can result in serious injury if you get on their bad side and they charge.

Indeed, the Glacier National Park website asks visitors to remain at least 25 yards from the animals at all times. Of course, it was difficult for this group of tourists to keep their distance in this scenario, but they handled the situation correctly.

Far too often we see videos of entitled tourists putting their lives — and the lives of animals — at risk when coming across wildlife in areas of astounding natural beauty. 

Whether it’s mountain goats, elks, or bison — or even bears — some park-goers just don’t give animals the respect and courtesy they deserve, and the consequences for both parties can be dire.

For humans, there is the risk of injury or death, but for animals, some have to be euthanized after encounters with people because they begin to lose their natural defensive instincts and can become a threat to visitors. 

TikTokers watching the video were extremely impressed by the restraint and smarts these particular tourists demonstrated. 

“You handled this so respectfully, thank you!” one user said. “That is so cool! You let them be as it should,” added another.

“I applaud you for the space and respect you gave to them,” yet another TikToker praised. “Thank you.” 

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