Goats on Wales’ Great Orme Headland caused a stir around the world during the first Covid lockdown last year after they were photographed brazenly wandering the deserted streets of nearby Llandudno.
This year there has been a population explosion of Kashmiri goats at their peak home in North Wales after the Covid crisis forced campaign guards to cancel a planned contraception campaign.
And in the last lockdown, the goats moved further away from the Great Orme, raising concerns that as restrictions ease some of the animals used to having the streets pretty much to themselves- Even could be in danger as vehicle traffic expands.
Sally Pidcock, director of Great Orme National Park, said there were around 30 goats – males are the ones who tend to travel – in the greater Llandudno and around 150 less adventurous males, plus women and children, back on the Great Orme.
Pidcock said a campaign to administer contraceptive injections to nanny goats last summer had to be postponed because of Covid. “This means that there are more children being born on the Great Orme now than there would have been,” she said. As long as Covid allows, a contraceptive vaccination campaign will take place this summer.
The more daring goats tend to be tempted towards town from their windswept promontory when it is particularly cold. Pidcock said some were already returning, but others were lingering and some had been spotted on the other side of town – further than they had dared before.
She said: “They became very confident because very few people came back during the lockdown. We ask motorists to keep an eye on them. “
The hope is that as the weather warms up and the Welsh lockdown continues to ease, the goats will find their way home – and, until there are more lockdowns, do not be tempted to come back in such large numbers.