Wandering goats bring traffic to a standstill on Santa Cruz highway


Two freewheeling goats trotting back and forth between the lanes of a Santa Cruz highway created a traffic jam Monday afternoon before they were corralled.

Drivers traveling south on Highway 17 had to swerve to avoid hitting the goats before the California Highway Patrol arrived at 3:30 p.m., CHP Officer Sam Courtney said. By then, some motorists had already taken it upon themselves to stop and wrangle the animals and tie them to a guardrail on the side of the road.

“They just pulled over, took a rope and were able to capture the goats,” Courtney said.

It took the good Samaritans about 15 minutes to tie the animals up, leaving a mile of cars backed up in their wake.


“Residual traffic was people slowing down to see the goats, who by the way were very friendly,” Courtney said.

Officers spent an hour with the amicable animals — who seemed to welcome the attention and petting — while trying to figure out where they belonged. By 5 p.m., animal control arrived and got in contact with the goats’ owners.

Courtney said it’s not uncommon to drive down Highway 17 and see pens of goats. Sometimes the animals are rented to clear away vegetation, he said.

“I don’t know if that’s the case on these ones,” he said, adding, “sometimes they’ll get loose.”

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