The goats at Coal Oil Point Reserve
By Megan Mueller (05/31/14 17:23:13)
Related animal: Goat

The goats at Coal Oil Point are incredible and probably one of the highlights of my quarter. It was my first interaction with a living goat. My knowledge of them previous to our trip was from books or the internet. A couple months ago a video made its way through my Facebook circles that displayed a couple of goats playing with sheet metal. The sheet metal was bent into an arch and secured to the ground. The goats would take turns jumping up onto the top of the metal. From the video its was obvious they were a curious and sure footed animal with excellent balance.

The goats at Coal Oil Reserve were similar in their curiosity and athleticism. Cristina introduced us to the wonderful animals and even had Linda the goat demonstrate her ability to open the gate in exchange for a hug. After that, we were invited to visit with the goats in their fenced in areas. There seemed to be 2-3 adult female goats and 2-3 baby "kid" goats in each space. The goats were incredibly friendly. The adults would nibble on your shirt to get your attention. I petted each of them as much as possible. The kids were also quite friendly and enjoyed being petted. They gathered around us, stood on logs, and even got into some people's laps.

The goats were funny, playful, affectionate. They made vocalizations for attention. They had distinct personalities and obvious intelligence. For me, there is something exhilarating about standing with animals in their spaces. Confidence, posture, and movement all become heightened. The animals were in between a horse and dog in scale, so I found myself wanted to interact with them like dogs. I think a lot of us offered our hands to be smelled in the same way you would a dog. The goats didn't mind but it was clear the gesture didn't mean much to them. I found myself self conscious at first, wanting to make sure I was being respectful of their space. The goats were so friendly and interested that I was quickly comfortable in their space.

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