Gordon and Lynda Clement got their two pigmy goats, Chairro and Chivo, about 12 years ago.
Gordon Clement, 83, said Wednesday they’ve grown to love them
like any other animal companions.
“They weren’t just goats,” Clement said. “They were pets. They’d lift their hand up to shake with you like a dog would.”
Last Thursday, the Clement family stable was cut in half by an attack by one or more predators.
On that day, Chivo had the run of the family’s barn, because their veterinarian suggested she be quarantined to better recover from a leg injury. This left Chairro to wander the corral outside the barn, Clement said.
Lynda Clement found Chairro’s 90-pound body lying dead in the corral after feeding Chivo in the barn.
She ran inside and found her husband and told him of the gruesome sight she’d found.
Gordon Clement said he didn’t care to look at the corpse. He just called 911.
The Cherokee County Marshal’s Office sent a man to the home, which sits in the southeastern corner of Cherokee County.
Clement said their veterinarian also came to the scene and said that, given the bloody nature of the killing, coyotes must’ve been involved. But he couldn’t be sure how many.
“He said ‘One (coyote) could damage and eat a 90-pound goat as well as three or four could,’” Clement said.
Adam Hammond, a wildlife biologist with Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said Wednesday that Chairro’s death is part of a growing coyote problem.
“Population (of coyotes) has grown tremendously,” he said.
But there is only so much GADNR can do.
Because coyotes are not protected by the conservation laws of Georgia and can be hunted or trapped anytime, homeowners with issues are mostly left to take care of them, Hammond said.
“Generally, it’s not a situation that anything can be done on our part,” he said “except to educate the public.”
Clement got a similar response from another wildlife biologist with GADNR and doesn’t think it’s good enough.
“They shouldn’t tell me there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “That doesn’t seem right. The way it sounds, they don’t care.”
Clement said he is planning on putting up a higher fence around the corral to keep the coyotes from giving Chivo a similar fate to Chairro.
A higher fence might also protect the Clements from bearing the pain of another loss.
“Neither of us is doing well,” he said. “We look out back and can see her out there walking, but we know she isn’t there.”