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Pet of the Day
Today's Pet of the Day
Sam the San Clemente Island Goat, the Pet of the Day
Name: Sam
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: San Clemente Island Goat
Home: Northern California, USA
   Sam is a purebred registered San Clemente Island Goat. He lives in my back yard with his two lady goats. Sam is our handsome guy, and he knows so too, and loves to be admired! He likes to show off and is well known in our neighborhood. He's a naughty boy, and used to escape every once in a while. Once he ended up in the ladies room of the local bar. When I caught up with him he was patiently posing in peoples' selfies. I hear they're on Facebook somewhere! The goats commute to a nearby brush job. I leash the herd queen and we walk down the street, with Sam, the other doe and any kids more or less following along. Luckily I found a route that avoids going past houses with pretty, unfenced yards! There have still been many embarrassing moments, which I'm sure you can imagine if you've ever owned a buck! (Mommy, what's that goat doing?) One memorable time I saw him hook his horns in a small tree and jump off a retaining wall. He hung there, bobbing in the air, for a moment before the poor tree gave way.

     Sam has helped add 11 kids to the population of this critically endangered breed. There are fewer than 900 left. The Spanish left them on one of California's Channel Islands in the Mission times. Their ancestral breeds in Spain are now extinct and they have very unique DNA which resembles no other living breed. The bucks are lacking the scent glands around their horns. The does can breed year round but often have only one or two kids. They're known for easy kidding and excellent mothering, as well as a graceful, deer-like appearance. San Clementes rarely get sick, have excellent parasite resistance and are claimed to be the longest lived goats. They are still very feral in their personalities, though, and it can take a couple years to earn their trust.

     Sam is a very typically colored and marked buck for his breed, though the brown can range from cream (rare) to mahogany, and the amount of black can vary, though not the type of markings. Bucks are known for their fabulous horns, which can grow to a five-foot (1.54 meter) span from tip to tip with age - in fact they were victims of trophy hunting on the island. (In the 1980s all were exterminated on the island for eating endangered plants. The Fund For Animals rescued some, who are the ancestors of the goats we have today.)

     You can also see more about them at the San Clemente Island Goat Association's website.

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