Mountain goat stuck under Trail bridge returned to wild

Conservation officers were able to tranquilize and free the goat

Who’s heard the story of a mountain goat living under the Trail bridge?

It’s no tall tale.

The shaggy beast doesn’t actually live there, but it did come for a visit Wednesday night and nestle in the east-side underbelly of the Victoria Street Bridge.

Conservation Officer Blair Thin says shortly after 6 p.m. a call came in that a wild goat was spotted lodged beneath the Columbia River crossing.

He and fellow officer Ben Beetlestone were 70-or-so kilometres away dealing with a campfire violation at Rosebud Lake, so they couldn’t see it – or truly believe it – until hours later.

But when they did roll into Trail after 10 p.m., Thin says they quickly located the frightened animal.

“He was quite visible under the highway bridge,” he explained. “It was bedded down between the concrete bridge supports.”

The goat was assessed to be healthy and approximately three years-old.

“We then utilized a jab stick in order to inject a tranquilizer drug,” Thin said. “And we were able to borrow a kennel off a local resident so we could transport the goat to an area within its home range.”

Shortly after the goat woke up from its ordeal at around 11:30 p.m., the officers set it free.

“It’s not a common occurrence to have mountain goats underneath the Trail bridge,” Thin noted. “That said, there is a healthy population of goats in the near vicinity. This one probably came from the ridge that runs in Sunningdale and behind the hospital,” he added.

“There’s a lot of country up there and a lot of craggy rock, which is good habitat for them.”

Thin did not disclose where the animal was released.

“Any animal released back into the wild is quite vulnerable because they still have effects of the tranquilizer,” he said. “And we don’t want it getting spooked by human activity or a dog, and stumbling off the mountain again.”

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