The famous Kashmiri goats that live on the Great Orme headland above the seaside town of Llandudno made headlines last year for venturing into the town during lockdown. The goats roamed the empty streets, bold as brass, making the most of the quieter surroundings.
The goats head to the town in search of food and, while they are there, have also become accustomed to holding up traffic, exploring (and eating) locals' gardens and making themselves at home. The Kashmiris would normally only go looking for food during the spring when there are fewer resources on the mountain and would only very occasionally enter the town. Lockdown, however, has increased their confidence.
The goats receive a regular contraceptive injection from the vets to help control the size of the flock but the pandemic has seen the injections postponed. This means that numbers are rising.
Louise Emery, a representative for Great Orme for Conwy Council, told the BBC that there are more goats than before and they are exploring further.
"There seems to be a rogue herd of goats that have wandered across the town into a completely new area where they have never been… that’s a concern,’ said Louise.
"It’s a great concern at night time, actually, because they tend to wander more at night and the roads have been very quiet. Drivers can literally come round the corner and be faced with eight or nine goats in the road."
With locals worried about the safety of the goats, they are hoping that, as restrictions ease and lockdown ends, they will return to their normal habits and only come close to the town during spring.
The goats have benefited the town though, too, despite increasing concern. The roaming flock helped St David's Hospice in Llandudno raise over £120,000, which has given the care provider the financial lifeline it needed.
Following the global media attention last year, St David's Hospice began selling goat-printed merchandise. The collection included mugs, tote bags, clothing items and soft toys and were sold in the gift shop. The idea was an attempt to give the shop a much-needed boost after a funding crisis.
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