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Glacier officials suspend mountain goat study

| June 17, 2010 9:00 PM

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - Glacier National Park officials report that a new University of Montana study of mountain goats has been suspended pending an internal investigation into the cause of two deaths of adult mountain goats this week in separate darting and tranquilizing efforts.

Autopsies found that the first capture cause of death was determined to be respiratory arrest due to the tranquilizer dart puncturing the animal's ribcage. Cause of death is unknown in the second capture.

On Tuesday, June 8, during preliminary field work in the Many Glacier Valley, a 6-year-old male mountain goat died after it was darted and tranquilized by a Wildlife Conservation Society veterinarian.

After meeting with park managers on Wednesday, June 9 researchers were allowed to resume their field work; however, a second mortality occurred Thursday, June 10 when another male goat was darted.

Thursday evening, the researchers were instructed to "stand down," until further notice, while the NPS conducts a review.

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