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Mountain lion kills three goats in Woodside

Original post made on Nov 17, 2011

A large mountain lion entered a fenced enclosure containing three dwarf goats and two alpacas, killed the goats, and carried one off to feed on it outside a home on Tripp Court in Woodside sometime after 6 p.m. Monday (Nov. 14), the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office reported.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 17, 2011, 8:52 AM

Comments (23)

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Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:36 am

Very impressive response from Mr. Begun, and I would like to recognize him for that. Sorry for your loss.
It does seem like the lion is getting a little lazy considering the large numbers of deer I see all around the area. Perhaps the lions are spooked by cars, because even fresh roadkill seems to be ignored by them. I guess an easy kill is always better for a wild predator.


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Posted by kongjie
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

kongjie is a registered user.

I second your approval, Steve C. When people have clear heads during tough times, it reveals character.

I think for top predators, it's all about laziness and conservation of energy.


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Posted by anon
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

The resident should be commended. I am sorry for his loss, but as he said we moved in last and have to sort of obey the laws of the neighborhood. I'm glad he is keeping his remaining animals safe. I understand why they are, but I wish they didn't have to hunt the lion who was just trying to get some grub.


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Posted by mountain
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

A couple of tough outside dogs would solve the problem.

Glad to hear nature's stilll going strong in our backyard!


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Too often when there are incidents like that described in the article, officials don't know any other way to handle it other than searching out the lion and killing it. Officials who handle such incidents must get some training on alternatives to using lethal force.

I applaud Mr. Begun.


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Posted by Outsider
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I used to live in Palo Alto, I now live in an area where lion and bear hunting along with many other large predators and animals is considered normal and occurs each and every year during season. California has done some pretty backwards things when it comes to so called conservation. Lions do not normally go down near residences, and therefore these cases must be taken seriously. There are more then enough deer population in the santa cruz hills to maintain a healthy lion population. If a lion is going down near peoples homes, there is an issue, because it is not "normal" for them. Its not an issue of who was here first, its an issue of what is normal and not, and for lions who are frightful of humans and dogs, it is abnormal behavior.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm

it's probably Monday morning quarterbacking, but perhaps Mr. begun should have kept the goats in a fenced area after dark, fenced from above as well so the mountain lion couldn't jump over the fence to get to the goats. That's what I'd have done had I lived in Woodside and kept those kind of animals. Regardless, his logical and level headed attitude should be lauded. I feel very bad for his lose, animals become part of the family.


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Posted by Spelling Stickler
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Note to PA Weekly editors: "...who's intruding on who's territory? " should be "who's intruding on whose territory?" Thanks for trying to keep the PA Weekly grammatically correct!


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Posted by WTF?
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Hey wait a minute! I tried and tried to get someone, anything, to do something about the coyotes who have killed TWO of my beloved family cats in Los Altos Hills. I was told "tough luck, lady, that's nature and the coyotes have a right to be there." So now they're going to hunt down and kill a lion for taking a couple of goats. I believe there is an anti-cat bias operating here.


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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm

The plain fact of the matter is that there's no hunting season for mtn. lions in CA. So .... they will multiply, having no predator to limit their numbers. Each mtn. lion needs and will enforce a large defined roaming and hunting "turf," and when the forested and wild turf is all taken, the lions will begin to move into the fringes of populated areas. That's what we're seeing now .... Eventually, I think, a very limited hunting season for them will need to be resumed. On the positive side, they do keep the deep population down.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

I'm w/Daniel on this one. Mr. Begun can hardly be more upset, rightfully. I wonder why he didn't do more to protect his animals? If they were part of the family, as he said, he failed them, imo. There are numerous reports of mountain lion sightings ongoingly, so it's not like it couldn't be expected. The lions aren't lazy, the animal owner is. I'm glad the alpacas are safe - mountain lions often won't tangle with them.

Dogs aren't always the best idea - I know folks whose large, strong dog was carried off by a mountain lion.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

It could have been a couple of children. Lions are not appropriate neighbors and any found in residential neighborhoods should be shot.


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Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Walter who *are* you and why are you hatin' on our magnificent flora and fauna......
first the open spaces and now mountain lions!!!!!!
perhaps you would be happier in Detroit !


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I have Walter's virtual back. I have no idea who he is, but Walter's stance on things appears to be as close to ideal as anyone on this board IMHO. As regards mountain lions in the wild/residential interstitial area, you can't really be on both sides of the issue. Either you value human life over puma life, or you don't. This is not an ambiguous issue, and it only appears so to those for whom life has not forced them to decide what they really believe.

BTW, I love cats, have two of them, and in my younger years would hike silently at dawn to see bobcats...


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Posted by Don
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Anyone who believes mountain lions should be allowed to roam freely in residential neighborhoods should read "The Beast in the Garden." It chronicles what happened around Boulder, Colorado when mountain lions were allowed to roam freely or simply relocated.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Perhaps Walter Wallis doesn't realize that Woodside is not really a residential neighborhood. It's rural countryside where humans have built houses, but it's a natural habitat for wild life, including predators like the cougar. It's not Palo Alto, Beverly Hills or downtown Manhattan. According to his logic we should slaughter all predator animals in country areas when the animals, who are in their natural habitat, get close to the houses people built or moved into, being fully aware they chose to live in the country and not in an urban area.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I value children above predators.


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Posted by Outsider
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Somebody mentioned a mountain lion walking off with a dog. That is a huge problem! Mountain lions naturally are fearful of dogs! In Montana and Idaho, folk have lived with mountain lions for years with no issue. They had large dogs that guarded the family and the animals. With the reintroduction of non native wolf population that has EXPLODED in the last 20 years, these mountain lions have adjusted to a non natural influence and now have no fear of a lame domesticated dog. The natural order of things have changed, and they are issuing hunting permits appropriately (for cougar and wolf) If the cougars in the santa cruz hills are walking of with dogs, the problem is bigger then you think.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

There were no attacks on children and the cougar didn't walk off with any dogs, it killed 3 small goats. This could have been avoidable if the goats were protected by a chicken wire enclosed area during the night. When people decide to live in the countryside they must realize that they would live much closer to predators like the cougar. Living in the countryside doesn't justify the slaughter of wild life.


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Posted by Mike Hulme
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2011 at 9:08 am

I also laud Mr.Begun's response to this tragic incident. I would suggest that he looks into purchasing Livestock Guardian Dogs. We have two Maremma's who guard our herd of goats in the San Jose hills. We frequently hear of mountain lions in the area. The Guardian dogs are instinctively trained to protect their property. Having them patrol an area, their smell is enough to deter lions from entering. These dogs are 140 pounds and are capable of dealing with mountain lions. They are also gentle calm and thoughtful protectors of everything that is in their "territory" from chickens and children to goats and sheep.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

...and keep your kids indoors.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I didn't mean to cause confusion by posting about mountain lions taking dogs. This has happened to several people I know out of state. I haven't followed what has happened w/mountain lions in those states, but their dogs being taken wasn't standard behavior from the lions, it appeared to have recently evolved, from what I was told.

I hope this goat owner has learned what he needs to in order to now keep his animals safe.


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Posted by Julian Kirk
a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:42 am

I am in UK was sent the article by my sister who lives in Woodside (with ponies, cats etc) and just to say a quick bravo for Mr Begun's mature and philosophical attitude on what must have been a loss that hurt. If you live in a beautiful semi-rural area of forest I guess these things happen


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