Fast Facts: Catalina Island’s Interior Wildlife

CATALINA ISLAND — Most people who visit Catalina Island probably know of the bison or foxes roaming amongst the hills. But did you know Catalina was also home to wild goats?

A 1939 brochure promoting tourism to Catalina boasted the wildlife to be found within the island’s interior, including bison, deer, fox and goat.

“Thousands of wild goat, hardy descendants of a few domesticated ones left by Spanish explorers centuries, thrive here,” the 1939 promotional brochure stated.

The brochure, which misidentified the island’s bison as buffalo, added goats and wild boar were prime targets for year-round hunting.

Bison, among other species, were not to be hunted, according to the brochure.

“Fox, deer and buffalo are protected,” the promotional brochure stated. “Over rugged inland hills and rolling plains unchanged by man since time began, picturesque herds of bison roam. They are often seen on motor trips to the Isthmus.”

Other natural amenities highlighted in the 1939 promotional brochure were the Catalina Bird Park and Submarine Gardens.

The bird park was described as “the world’s largest bird cage.”

“Many talk and perform, several having appeared in Hollywood movies,” the brochure continued, adding park admission was free but motor coaches from Avalon’s pier to the park were 25 cents (round trip).

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