Mountain lion kills goat in Hayward

April 25, 2008 10:42:53 AM PDT
In the East Bay, at least two different sightings involving a mountain lion occurred this week. One resident caught it on tape in a backyard. Both times, the cat was spotted in a neighborhood in the foothills of Hayward. One man reported seeing it kill a goat around Bello Road and drag it away.

A mountain lion was spotted in the Garin Park area.

"That's not a deer, that's a mountain lion!" says James Zelaya, a Hayward resident.

That's the first thought Zelaya had Sunday, when he shot the home video of the mountain lion, just 40 yards away.

On Wednesday, down the street, another neighbor saw a mountain lion kill a baby goat.

"I'm worried about my dog, and the neighbors, they all have dogs and there's children back here so very concerned about the neighbors," said Zelaya.

"For mountain lions their natural food is deer. It's very rare that we have a problem with people, but it does in strange cases happen," said Clint Garrett, a game warden for Fish and Game.

Fish and game wardens are scouring the Hayward foothills, talking to neighbors and looking for signs of the lion or the goat. Even though 1,200 notifications went out and several miles have been covered, they've come up with nothing.

It's an un-nerving fact for Ana Espino. The baby goat was part of her family's herd.

"They're just scared, we just lock the door and everything at night," said Ana Espino, a Hayward resident who owns the goats.

It turns out the night of the attack, the gate was left open. Now, two baby goats are missing and the family thinks the mountain lion took them both.

Even though some homeowners want Fish and Game to take action now, they can't do that until the goat's owner gives them the go ahead to either trap the animal or shoot it.

Raul Huerta, the goat's owner, says he wants the mountain lion dead. Thursday, he told Fish and Game, if they won't do something, he will. The game warden will return on Friday with trappers.

Residents who live here in the area next to the open space, are told until the cat is located to call 911 if they see it and not to approach it.


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