Rescue operation launched to save goats from Cheddar Gorge

The RSPCA and Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue formed an unlikely partnership to help the goats off the ledge. Credit: RSPCA

Three goats have been at the centre of a recent rescue operation after becoming stuck on a ledge in Cheddar Gorge.

People spotted the goats high above Cheddar Gorge on multiple consecutive days and after seeing them for the fourth time decided to alert the authorities.

The RSPCA then worked with Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue to bring the goats down from the rocks.

RSPCA Inspector Alan Barnes said: “The rescue was a great effort by all involved and it was really rewarding to see the goats bounding happily away after being reunited.

"We are so grateful to Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue, a search and cliff rescue emergency service staffed by volunteers, who carried out the rescue so amazingly, and members of the public who helped with the rescue and release.

“It was initially hoped all three would be able to free themselves but after being monitored for four days by kind animal-lovers in Cheddar it was decided the time had come to lend a helping hand.

"The young kid goat had managed to make his own way down the night before the rescue and was then separated from his mum and in a state of distress so we were really keen to reunite them as soon as possible.

“Thankfully, it was possible to catch the two adult goats who were stuck and bring them down in special bags before reuniting them with the kid and watching them happily go on their way after a check over."

Search and Rescue teams had to use their cliff skills and knowledge to retrieve the goats. Credit: RSPCA.

The charity is now warning dog owners not to take extra care when their pets around livestock or wildlife, as this could be a possible explanation for the goats ending up getting trapped so high up.

Inspector Alan Barnes said this was especially important "as the weather gets warmer and more people walk their dogs in the countryside.”

Martin Papworth, Search and Rescue Incident Controller for Avon and Somerset Search andRescue, said: "While animal rescues are not our bread and butter, there were obvious concerns for the welfare of the goats, and also for members of the public using the car park directly below.

"Our team used their specialist cliff rescue skills to assist the RSPCA in reuniting this stricken family of goats."

The popular tourist attraction is home to a number of feral goats and Soay sheep, who were introduced in the 1990s to maintain grazing levels to promote the growth of wild flowers.

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