The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) released video on Saturday of a feisty herd of B.C. mountain goats that appear to be quite taken with a salt patch that had magically bloomed in a bluff of trees near Nelson.
The herd got straight to work licking the salt, with no further concern for their old salt spot along Highway 31, with its zooming traffic, the ministry reported.
The ‘intercept’ salt lick was the brain child of the ministry’s wildlife specialist looking for ways to prevent the animals from hanging around the highway.
“Where they are at risk of being struck by a vehicle, in search of a salt fix,” the MOTI explained.
“Now that the temptation to travel toward the highway has been nixed with the intercept, these goats have no reason to travel beyond the salt lick bluffs; their natural range was only extended to the roadside by the promise of a salty treat.”
The MOTI says it is looking at other highway locations where wildlife is tempted by salt to see if this approach will work elsewhere.
Did you know?
– Wildlife such as big horn sheep, moose and deer seek out salt deposits to get essential minerals and nutrients in the spring time to help with bone and muscle growth.
– The ministry worked loose, coarse livestock salt into patches of the forest floor to build this salt lick.
– The ministry uses a variety of tools to deter animals from hanging around BC highways including:
o wildlife fencing, tunnels and overpasses
o planting less desirable blends of grass seed roadside
– Video footage was captured in the springtime, while the goats were busy shedding their heavy winter coats in favour of a lighter spring look.