PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — Officials are warning pet owners after mountain goats killed three dogs on Mount Timpanogos just this month.
In the most recent incident on Saturday, Aug. 19, a dog was reportedly off their leash and harassed a mother goat and her babies. According to the Timpanogos Emergency Response Team, the mother goat then pushed the dog off of a cliff.
Sergeant Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said that even one attack from a mountain goat like this is “incredibly rare,” but serves as a good reminder for pet owners.
“We understand that most dogs aren’t going to cause any problems out there but you have to be prepared as the owner of that dog to take action if your dog has a ‘squirrel moment’ and takes off after something that it sees. You have to be able to maintain control of your dog,” he said.
According to the Timpanogos Emergency Response Team, it is the responsibility of pet owners to keep their animals under control at all times. Allowing dogs to chase goats, they said, “carries fines akin to poaching.”
On the mountain, Timpanogos Emergency Response said that goats and wildlife have the right of way.
“We are guests in their space. The mountain goats on Timp are usually very mellow and will walk fairly close to people. Please keep your distance, even if it means delays on your hike,” they said.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources representative Scott Root said that whenever you encounter a mountain goat, you should let them have the trail. If you do run into one, he said to back up slowly and make noise.
“You’re in mountain goat country,” he said.
In addition to goats, Timpanogos Emergency Response said there are moose, bears, cougars, and other wildlife on the trail, and that the same rules of keeping your distance apply.
“Be patient, stay out of their way, and we can all coexist peacefully,” they said.