Rutting season for Snowdonia's feral goats
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The animals could be heard snoring loudly near a large quarry in Dinorwic, north Wales, as they lounged on the grass. John Horrigan, who lives nearby in a former quarry cottage, was amazed to see the animals venture across the slate gravel near the highest mountain in Wales.
Mr Horrigan said: “People come from a long way to catch sight of and photograph the goats.
“It’s extremely rare to see them all lying down. One was lying on its side with his horns on the ground and snoring loudly.
“This time of year they tend to follow the emerging brambles for food. They’re not bothered by people, providing they don’t get too close.”
Locals told North Wales Live the creatures, who usually reside higher in the mountains, are becoming more daring but don’t disturb tourists or their dogs.
“The only thing that seems to agitate them are Huskies and German Shepherds – if they see them they will quickly move away. Don’t ask me why, I’ve no idea. I’ve seen other dog breeds get close and they take no notice,” Mr Horrigan added.
The three mild winters north Wales has experienced are believed to have caused the goats to venture across the grassland and quarry.
But its population is said to have declined in recent years, not least due to a cull in 2006 enforced after complaints goats were damaging woodlands, and vandalising gardens in the area.
However, John Grisdale, of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, feels the animals must be embraced. He argued they mimic humans well.
He said: “It has yet to be proved that goats mimic the human voice but they make a damned good attempt.
“Whether they are calling in Welsh or English has yet to be established.”
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