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Goats swim to safety – no kidding

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goats
GOATS DO SWIM Two wild goats are ushered to safety from flood waters near Ballyvary last Thursday.

Goats swim to safety – no kidding



Edwin McGreal


Can goats swim? It was a question a lot of onlookers were pondering at the N5 at Chancery near Ballyvary last Thursday. Two goats – one billy, one nanny – were stranded in an adjoining field by rising flood waters that threatened to drown them.
The goats, believed to be wild, were spotted marooned in the flooded field on Monday. They were on dry land but surrounded by water, as the nearby river had burst its banks. As the weather got wetter, so did the goats, and by Thursday afternoon, the water had crept up as high as their backs and they were over 100 metres from dry land.
Passer-by Olivia Mannion rang the Gardaí, who in turn contacted Mayo County Council’s Veterinary Department, which referred the case to Civil Defence. There, Rose Doherty and Tom Walsh answered the unusual call. However, they could not launch their boat at the field in question, so Inland Waterways came to the rescue with a boat more fit for the purpose of rescuing two goats.
Perhaps reacting to so much supervision and intervention from a nanny state, the two goats gruffly refused to get into the boat when it landed beside them.
They swam further into the depths of the flood, but the vigilant boat crew managed to turn them in the direction of dry land. With no little agility, the pair swam through the flood and eventually to safety.
The question now is ‘Could the goats not have swum to safety earlier and avoided the furore?’. Perhaps, but maybe they wanted to milk their moment in the public limelight.