Llandudno goat numbers spike after missing contraception due to Covid

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie

When ITV News first reported on the wild goats of Llandudno that took the town by storm during the first coronavirus lockdown, it was all fun and games.

The animals gained worldwide fame after heading into the town when streets were quieter, with even US television host Ellen DeGeneres pledging to visit Wales to see the goats when lockdown was over.

But now they're back and in even greater numbers due to missing their annual dose of contraception as a result of the pandemic.

Now an even larger herd of the Great Orme goats are roaming the streets and nibbling on the neighbourhood gardens.

The Llandudno goats have gained worldwide fame. Credit: ITV News

Cllr Louise Emery, from Conwy County Borough Council, said: "We do try and control the numbers on the Great Orme and we do that through a contraception programme.

"That involves rounding them all up, it take some effort - lots of volunteers get together to do it and to look at the female goats.

"But obviously last summer there was no way we could do that, so they have been breeding like goats."

It is hoped the herd will head back to the hill when rutting season starts in early autumn.

Throughout the pandemic, they have been pictured queueing outside a barber shop, storming a petrol station and invading a car park.

The goats recently brought traffic on the A470 to a standstill, sparking safety concerns.

Earlier this week, the goats brought traffic on the A470 to a standstill as they ventured further around the town.

It has sparked concerns that they could be hit by a car or cause an accident, and has raised questions over who would be liable.

On the Conwy Council website, a statement reads: "As a land manager, the council isentitled to act on behalf of the animal’s welfare if a wild animal is in distress whilst on their land.

"They may also act to control populations of wild animals that reside on the land if those animals are not protected by law.

"Because the goats are feral animals, the council do not have a legal responsibility to keep the goats on the Great Orme by way of fencing or 'containment'.

"If the goats cause damage to properties, the property owner should take steps to keep the goats out.

"If there is a sick, injured or trapped goat on the Great Orme on private property or council managed land, people are urged to contact the country park staff."