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Drugged up goats dangled from helicopter as authorities remove them from national park

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Sedated, blindfolded mountain goats being relocated from Olympic National Park on Thursday. Helicopters and trucks are relocating hundreds of mountain goats from Olympic National Park in an effort officials said will protect natural resources, reduce visi Sedated, blindfolded mountain goats being relocated from Olympic National Park on Thursday. Helicopters and trucks are relocating hundreds of mountain goats from Olympic National Park in an effort officials said will protect natural resources, reduce visi
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Authorities in Washington have begun using helicopters and trucks to relocate hundreds of non-native mountain goats from Olympic National Park.

The effort is designed to move the animals back to a nearby region where they are native.

The process will rid the park of the dangerous animals, which have attacked visitors, killing one in 2010. Officials also say the animals have a negative environmental impact.

Crews used tranquilizer darts and net guns to capture several animals this week at the park, located west of Seattle. The goats are among the first of an estimated 375 that will be captured, examined and reintroduced to the wild in the North Cascades, located in northern Washington.

The Seattle Times reported on early relocation efforts on Thursday. Some of the goats were sedated, loaded into harnesses, dangled from a helicopter, then loaded into a truck. They received care from veterinarians before beginning the journey to their new home.

The relocation project is estimated to leave between 275 and 325 goats in Olympic National Park. Those goats eventually will be shot and killed, according to park officials.

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The goats were introduced to the area nearly a century ago. They are known to trample sensitive vegetation and act aggressively toward humans.

"With their sharp horns and powerful bodies, mountain goats can inflict significant and lethal injuries," park officials warned in 2016.

Between 2004 and 2016, the mountain goat population in the park has more than doubled, bringing new urgency to a problem that officials have struggled with for decades.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

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