A Mountain Lion Got Their Goat, Says Miranda Wastewater Plant’s Operator in Training

goat this one

Barrington the goat [All photos provided by Mark Carey]

Barrington and his fellow goat kept down vegetation at the Miranda Wastewater plant but somewhere after dark on October 18, the little goat disappeared. According to Mark Carey, Operator in Training at the plant, a mountain lion lept the tall barbwire topped fence and snatched the little creature.

“[O]n Friday we noticed Barrington (the smaller of the two at about 50 lbs) was missing and we walked the fence line and found some fur up in the barbed wire fence about 8 feet up,” Carey explained. He also found the goat’s stomach by the fence.
Soft fur on barbed wire around the Wastewater Plant.

Soft fur on the barbed wire around the Wastewater Plant.

At first, Carey wasn’t sure what had taken the little goat, but then he found the tracks. “[A]fter that I saw drag marks in the sand beds at the plant and after looking closer I could see big cat paw prints on either side of the drag marks,” Carey explained.

Mountain lion tracks

On the left is the track where the goat was dragged through the sand. On the right are the paw tracks.

Kim Cabrera, a local tracker whose videos are often shared on this website, confirmed that the tracks and the behavior showed the “purposeful” stride of a mountain lion intent on its prey “with 95% certainty.”

This is likely not the first kill of domestic animals in the Miranda area, according to local residents. One warned that a number of pets, particularly cats have disappeared in the area recently.

According to Carey, he is now locking Barrington’s companion goat in a pen in the evenings. But he said, “The last 2 times [I] locked the remaining goat up at dusk, [I] heard a strange chirmp like noise up in the woods.” He believes the sound might come from the mountain lion.

For more information on how to protect pets and livestock from mountain lion predation, follow the links provided.

Here’s information on the legality of killing the lion.

Here’s why some people believe that killing the mountain lion might not be a good idea. Here’s one reason: “Conventional wisdom holds that eliminating large male cougars keeps people and livestock safe. But Wielgus believes this paves the way for a bigger threat: unruly young males who move in from nearby areas and, unlike mature cougars who have learned to avoid humans, don’t always mind their manners.”

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54 comments

  • Used to be different when mountain lions were wary of humans. They generally kept their distance. Now that’s less and less true. They aren’t as solitary as people think either. If you have deer in Humboldt Co, a mountain lion will not be far off. If you have one mountain lion, there will be more.

    • More like we keep moving into their home ranges,& the hillsides are still being cut and managed in a way that does not take into account the health of the future forest and its inhabitants, and the fires out east pushed a lot of animals to the west.
      Animals seek shade, shelter and food/water. The plants that come back first after a clearcut are not the deers fave nor do they feel safe in huge open areas with no brush or trees around.
      Not to mention that, just like the ocean, a consistant few degree change in temperature changes the ecosystems. The lions follow their prey.

      A study in santa cruz last year found that lions will abandon their kill if they hear human voices close by. This was done by rigging a kill with a sensor that activated a person talking loudly when the lion moved the meat. The lions would leave and not return. It would be cool if they sold an easy kit that triggered a radio on if something moved the pen fence at night! I remember it because it was humerous that they chose known radio voices to see if there was a difference 😀
      Tho you dont want to scare a lion off a kill as they will then need to go hunt again which wears them out&makes them more opportunistic the hungrier they get (like most of us mammals) and will take more risks they wouldn’t otherwise. Plus the fact stated in the article, killing a male draws in more males who will them fight for that territory, like rattlesnakes.

      The article the other day about the bear with a doe in its mouth may be a sign of a new increase in competition for deer, with the salmon numbers so low the bears will need a lot of deer to build up fat for over winter.
      Kim C Im curious if you think part of why theyre coming in closer is due to a male being killed so there will be more sightings in a given area? They have such huge home ranges!

      Sorry to read of loss of livestock but all the old timers who taught me homesteading/ranching said you gotta have a barn and a livestock guard dog, period. I guess a lot of so hum was sheep ranching for awhile, theres a lot of very usable wisdom in our area!

    • People are the problem. Human virus spreading in all areas – you don’t give animals any room they have to eat and survive. Learn to co- exit.

  • Its what Mountain Lions do, they eat. Look at where you are! I don’t understand the article, what are you saying you are going to do to the Mountain Lions?

  • They need to be to hunted

  • Poster formerly known as Matt

    Did the mountain lion jump the 8′ fence with the 50lb goat in its mouth?

  • Nothing worse than two juvenile delinquent male cats. Killed twenty one of my neighbors’ fancy sheep one night. Found one sheep 50′ up a tree hanging over a limb. The bad boys didn’t know to be afraid of people and they jumped on top of the feed shed and kept the neighbor trapped in there for about fifteen minutes.
    Then there was the bear that was pulling chickens out of the hen house through a knot hole. That was a scary looking scene. Neighbor moved back to the city after he found a cat trail worn deeply into the dirt encircling his dog kennel.
    Shot a deer one time and left it where it dropped to get it after I finished my chores. Came back an hour later and it was gone. No drag marks whatsoever. Down right spooky until I saw a video of an African lion carrying a kill with its head rocked back, not letting any part of the kill drag the ground. I think they do that so as to leave the least scent trail possible, so nothing tracks it to the hiding spot and steals it.

  • We need to coexist with all of the wildlife we are lucky to have in our little corner of the world

  • Here is a cougar that visits our place between McKinleyville and Fieldbrook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZFd2h51uL0

  • I saw one walking up the middle of Hwy 36 some years back!!! It seemed to be unperturbed by me in my vehicle, as I drove by it, thanking the powers that be I had the windows of the car rolled up!!!

  • It is the human population that is too high. Y’all talk about “species management” for all except humans. LOOK WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO THE EARTH.
    Lions did not pollute the land, the rivers and the ocean, and the very air we breathe😠
    Very sorry for the loss of your goat.

  • Chirping noise you say? Definitely a velociraptor

  • Last year had to mountain lions kill 8 goats 10 ducks and 20 chickens all it one night saw them the next day 2 big cats my 2 big dogs ran to the house and wanted in and there outside dogs lol but the jack russel was on them bit them both on the heels headed out the field I live about 2 miles from Miranda

  • With that area being the siting area of the cats prior to this it was enevitable that it would happen,easy catch fot them

  • Kill the lion before lion kill you or come out face to face with the killer in the night time Mrs lions frend

  • You got the point it doesn’t have to be perfect you could tell what words should be there

    • Anti troll league

      The grammar police are such a nuisance. It’s like someone tells “Fire!” And the grammar police yell back “Incomplete sentence!” It just misses the point of a communication that is not all about them.

  • They were here before us and hopefully here for a long time. This is their world also. People are making their world smaller, be aware of your surroundings. Mankind is not the
    only predator around here.

  • Goats are lion bait. Anybody who lives in the hills knows that. Why is it news? I love how the comments come out so reliably. You people are so predictable!

  • Lost the sweetest goat a few years to what we think was a Moutain Lion a few years back in Rio Dell. Sadly, we didn’t put her in the pen that evening. 🙁

  • A friend had two lions cross Salmon Creek road in front of her a week or so ago.. It was dark and she said it was the lower part of the road..

  • This lion and some of the bears around here should be captured and released into Golden Gate Park or Muir Woods or Berkley where their presence will be enjoyed and worshiped.

  • Wait until you see them then go and say hi and move closer and kiss them then find out l will see at booboo of the lion

  • Excellent goat name. Leave public radio on in barns at night. If it’s jazz or classical your animals will be cool, smart, and safe!

  • Not the first time lions have been seen in town. The year of the Canoe Creek fires, there was evidence of a mountain lion crossing our yard, breaking a part of a 6 ft. wooden fence in the process. Fortunately for us, our very young puppy was indoors that evening. Suggestion to kitty cat owners. Keep them indoors, particularly at night. Lions think they make the perfect desert. I am now escorting my 15 year old Labrador out after dark. She is no match for a lion.
    One thing we added when the lion first was seen here, was motion detector activated lights outside. They are still there and operational.

    • I have a totally enclosed dog pen connected to the garage so dogs can go through the house and into the pen at night.

  • We leave a radio on all night near the goat and sheep pens and have motion sensitive lights and several predater lights around the field. Seems to be working so far. Sorry about spelling, early morning before coffee!

  • We love the animal but if they want to eat you for the diner you good for them

  • Need some of those mountain lions in Crescent City to take care of the feral cats. Nasty things are crapping anywhere they can cover it up.

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