4-H Club in Southern California Loses Eight Pygmy Goats When Mountain Lion Breaks into Pen

Posted by Paige Cerulli
mountain lion

A 4-H club in Southern California lost eight beloved pygmy goats to a mountain lion attack, despite taking precautions to strengthen the pen.

A mountain lion broke into a pen and killed eight of nine pygmy goats that a 4-H group had been caring for. The mountain lion attacked the goats on the Trabuco Trailblazer's 4-H Club grounds in Trabuco Canyon, California. One of the goats killed was a champion, and the others were shown throughout Southern California.

Although upset by the loss, the members of the 4-H group said that they understood the mountain lion was only acting on nature. High school senior Maddie Costa lost her eight-year-old pygmy goat, Howard. Still, she insisted on traveling out to the grounds one more time to say goodbye to her goat.

The group's organizers had done their best to protect the goats from possible attacks, putting a tin roof on the top of the pen and encircling it with hog paneling. Video captured the mountain lion, believed to be a male between two and three years old, jumping into the 10-foot-high pen with a single leap.

It is likely that the mountain lion will return to try to claim his prey.


Wildlife veterinarian Winston Vickers observed the video and concluded that the mountain lion is determined. Vickers told NBC Los Angeles:

 "He knew he had dead animals to eat and would naturally come back and try to grab one and get it out of the pen."

Mountain lions in Trabuco Canyon have been inbreeding, which has decreased their numbers. The 4-H group has 10 days to apply for a permit to hunt the mountain lion, if they wish.

Vickers noted that ranchers may want to add motion-activated lights or sprinklers to help protect their livestock.

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4-H Club in Southern California Loses Eight Pygmy Goats When Mountain Lion Breaks into Pen