A mountain goat runs through the backyard of Vicki Kerr’s home off Back Loop Road during the second week of September. (Courtesy Photo | Vicki Kerr)

A mountain goat runs through the backyard of Vicki Kerr’s home off Back Loop Road during the second week of September. (Courtesy Photo | Vicki Kerr)

Mountain goat makes backyard appearance

Resident’s trail cam captures mountain goat behavior

Mountain goats are usually seen up on high, but not this time.

Juneau resident Vicki Kerr shared footage from her trail camera this week, showing a goat running through her backyard. At first, she thought it was a dog, she said.

“I’m going, ‘That’s not a shady dog,’” she said in an interview Wednesday. “I made it a little large on the computer and you can see the little horns on the thing. You can also see he’s got hooves.”

Kerr, who lives on Back Loop Road, was unaware of the backyard guest until she took the trail camera down earlier this week and looked through the pictures from an SD card. Kerr said she keeps the trail camera up for about six weeks at a time.

The pictured goat is likely undergoing what’s called a “dispersal movement,” according to Kevin White, a wildlife biologist at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The behavior is exhibited by some young male goats that are seeking out new territory. The normal mountain goat habitat consists of alpine areas at high elevations.

ADFG received other reports of a mountain goat roaming the Mendenhall Valley last month, Kerr said.

“So I wasn’t the only one,” she said.

Kerr, 72, said her motion-activated trail cam has picked up plenty of activity since she installed it last summer. She called last year the “summer of the bears” but noticed more deer activity than bear this year. Dogs and cats are also regular trail camera subjects.

“It’s turned out to be a really good camera,” Kerr said. “We got a really nice picture of a deer looking at our lit-up gazebo that we used for a Christmas picture. We’ve gotten some really nice pictures off the thing. It’s been a really good investment.”

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.

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