Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Got Your Goat

Photos by Sherri Bryant

Franklin Mountains State Park Superintendent, Cesar Mendez, tells us:

"Over the past two months we have received numerous calls and emails about the white goat seen roaming the side slopes of Trans Mountain Road in the area known as Smugglers Pass.  We are aware of the situation and through multiple observations and photographs, have confirmed that the animal in questions is in fact a domestic (now feral) goat, which could have escaped from a nearby farm or may have been intentionally released on the side of the road. We would like to ensure everyone that neither the goat, the public nor the state park are in any imminent harm or danger. The goat can survive in this area for quite a while and, if necessary, it will relocate on its own. Due to the feral state of the goat and the rugged conditions of the terrain, removing the goat from the area would be difficult and dangerous for both the animal and wildlife officials conducting the relocation."

He adds: "Based on these considerations, we will not be taking any action to actively capture, remove, or relocate the goat."

There are no wild goats in the Franklins. A few years ago, according to Dr. Mendez, two Barbary Sheep (Aoudad) were observed in the Franklins. They have not been seen in years and probably relocated.

Photo by Tony Thomas Photography in Lincoln, New Mexico, 2011

Aoudad are indigenous to Northern Africa. They were introduced to Texas and New Mexico as a game animal but have escaped the confines of game ranches and have thrived in the southwest ecosystems. In 2013 Elpasonaturally posted pictures of Barbary Sheep taken by Michael Romero  in the mountains around Alamogordo.

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