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Getting Protester's Goat Isn't Bad, Monrovia Says

July 26, 2002|JESSICA GARRISON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 4-week-old goat was left at the Monrovia library Thursday, perhaps as a protest against the city's controversial plan to use goats to remove hillside vegetation.

But delighted city officials, one of whom spent the day buying goat's milk and baby bottles, were not complaining.

"I don't know if it's a prank, but this thing is so cute," said Fire Chief Mike DiGiovanna, who scrapped weekend getaway plans to bottle-feed the kid. "Everyone has fallen in love with it."

If the city manager approves, he said, the Fire Department will adopt the goat as its mascot.

On Tuesday, the Monrovia City Council approved a $45,000 grant to study putting goats in Ruby Canyon, a steep area where vegetation has not burned for 50 years, Mayor Lara Larramendi Blakely said.

But some residents, including Steve Miller, co-director of the Foothills Wildlife Conservancy, argued that the goats could destroy rare native plants without preventing wildfires.

Miller said he didn't know who had left the animal, which was discovered at 7 a.m., but he suspected that the act was a statement on the goat plan.

"I doubt it's an endorsement," he said. "My suspicion is it would be a criticism."

It's been quite a week for wildlife in Monrovia. On Tuesday, police and California Department of Fish and Game officials had a 14-hour standoff with a black bear that had taken up residence in a neighborhood tree.

The bear eventually was tranquilized and trucked to the mountains.

The goat, however, is staying.

"She's crying all the time, unless I'm holding her," DiGiovanna said. "I have more respect for parents, now that I have a kid."

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