A mountain goat in Alaska is dead after hordes of people trying to snap photos drove the panicked creature into the ocean.
The goat was spotted on Saturday afternoon near a harbor in the city of Seward, Seward City News reported. Alaska State Troopers started getting reports around 6:30 p.m. that people were harassing the animal and it had jumped into the ocean, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The goat came back on dry land, but it jumped into the water again after a large number of people starting following the animal, according to a statement obtained by The Huffington Post. The volume of people standing on the rocks appeared to prevent the goat from coming back on land, and the animal ultimately drowned in the ocean.
“It is imperative that wildlife is given adequate space to be able to leave a congested area like downtown Seward,” the statement read. “People not giving the animal space and getting close to take photos resulted in a wild animal dying for no cause.”
Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game, added people who get too close to wildlife put themselves as well as the animal in danger, according to the news station KTUU.
People’s lust for cool photos has repeatedly proven to be a serious hazard to wildlife. In February, a mob of beachgoers clamoring to take photos with two small dolphins in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires killed at least one of the animals. Days later, a man in Florida roughly yanked a shark out of the water by the tail for a photo in an act that animal advocates called “highly cruel.” In March, a Bulgarian tourist was caught on camera roughly pulling a swan from a pond for a photo as the bird struggled to get away. There are mixed reports as to whether the swan survived.
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