Surprise goat sighting at Cape Byron
A FEMALE escapee who has been on the run since 2003 was spotted at Cape Byron headland last Thursday – much to the surprise of local electrician Geoff Bensley.
And the contractor, who works at the lighthouse once a week, was quick to shoot her – with his camera.
But don’t go phoning the police – this escapee is not being hunted by the Law.
She’s a goat.
She was once part of the feral herd that used to roam the headland.
– a leftover from times long gone.
When the herd was rounded up by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 2003 because of the damage they were causing to the environment, the goat managed to outwit her potential captors.
She’s been living in the bushland and the cliff at the headland ever since.
Mr Bensley hadn’t seen her for a few years.
He was very surprised to spot the goat near the walkway heading down to Australia’s most easterly point.
“It’s been in hiding,” he said.
She quietly grazed while the tourists strolled past.
And life on the run, it seems, hasn’t been too bad for this escapee.
“She’s looking very healthy,” Mr Bensley said. “She’s fat.”
Byron Bay artist Sean O’Shea has a soft spot for the goat – he has completed two drawings of her, which you can see on his website (www.seanoshea.com.au).
He said he walks to the lighthouse most days and has seen the goat regularly in recent times.
“It’s always a very pleasing experience to see the goat up there,” he said.
“It disappears for a while – you don’t see it for months.”
He said many locals are attracted to the goat’s “personality”.
“People feel very protective of this goat,” he said.
“There’s something about the personality about this goat – it managed to evade the (National Parks and Wildlife Service) rangers.”