A herd of goats have swapped the mountains for suburbia by taking over the quarantined streets of this seaside neighbourhood in Wales.
Wildlife is venturing ever more boldly into deserted urban spaces as cities go into lockdown and quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19. In recent days, footage on social media has shown a civet cat roaming the empty streets of Kozhikode in India, while a wild puma was spotted (and rescued to safety) prowling the centre of Santiago, Chile.
In Wales, however, a less threatening animal is making a welcome appearance: a herd of about 122 Kashmiri goats. Residents of Llandudno, a seaside town in north Wales, have been treated to a daily parade of goats wandering their quiet streets this week: sniffing hedges, munching on flowers, climbing walls, peeking in windows and generally breaking up the monotony of life under quarantine by bringing some unexpected joy to locals.
Resident and reporter Andrew Stuart first shared the news of Llandudno's cute new visitors Twitter, after they wandered down to the town from the limestone headland of Great Orme late last Friday. Mr Stuart said he spotted them indulging in "a midnight feast" on hedges, tweeting: "They were probably going to run riot on the town, what with nobody being about due to the lockdown." He joked that he got the goats arrested by calling the police, saying he "wasn’t sure if they were keeping the required 2m apart."
Fortunately, the interest of the locals hasn't deterred them and the goats have been back multiple times this week. Speaking to the BBC, town councillor Carol Marubbi said she believes they were drawn from their mountain habitat to the newly-quiet streets out of curiosity. "They are curious, goats are, and I think they are wondering what's going on like everybody else," she said. Ms Marubbi said Llandudno is "very proud" of its wildlife and the goats have provided "free entertainment" for everyone.
You can see more footage of the goats on Andrew Stuart's uplifting Twitter thread here (it's well worth a peek).