Mountain Goat found in the Wind River Mountains
Katie Mortenson, of Pinedale, sees goat near Fremont Peak on August 22nd – first known sighting in the Wind River Range
by Wyoming Game & Fish
August 28, 2009
A recent mountain goat sighting in the Wind River Range has piqued the interest of Game and Fish officials. To the knowledge of biologists responsible for the area, this is the first confirmed sighting of a mountain goat in the Wind River Mountains.
Katie Mortenson of Pinedale encountered the animal while waiting on her companions near Fremont Peak on Saturday, August 22nd. According to Mortenson, the animal approached her and circled her several times coming as close as eight feet. The encounter lasted over 45 minutes. Photos Mortenson shot allowed Wildlife Biologist Dean Clause to confirm the animal was a mountain goat, likely a young male dispersing from the Palisades herd in the Snake River Canyon.
Animals often disperse in search of more suitable habitats, and the presence of this animal in the Wind River Mountains does not necessarily indicate a new population. However, the area in which the mountain goat was seen is a popular recreation destination, and it is likely more individuals will encounter this mountain goat this summer. It is important for all to know that even approachable wildlife are still wild and can act in unpredictable ways. Good stewardship includes maintaining a respectable distance while viewing wildlife; if your presence changes an animal’s behavior in any way you are too close.
Game and Fish appreciates the photographs and report from Mortenson and encourages any sightings of wildlife in unusual areas to be reported to local personnel. Individuals can report information by contacting their local Game and Fish office.
Photos by Katie Mortenson.
Editor's Note: Katie sent in several more photos she took of this goat: "It was amazing. I first noticed the goat when he was about 100 feet away from me. I started taking pictures at that point and took more and more as he just kept walking closer and closer. He walked a couple circles around me coming within 8 feet of me several times then he wandered off along the Indian Basin side of the ridge...then he came back!! And walked around me a couple of more times before moving off down the valley. J The entire encounter last about 45 minutes."