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Dramatic rescue after kind father-and-son build catapult to help stranded goat

Wild goat released from bag

A member of the public built a makeshift catapult to fire carrots up to a wild goat trapped on a North Wales mountain ledge – before RSPCA Cymru rescued the stranded animal. 

The animal welfare charity has praised the “immense kindness” of the individual – who reported the trapped goat to the RSPCA, with a dramatic rescue safely completed on Wednesday 18 March.

Insp Dunderdale during the cliff rescue.

RSPCA officers were able to undertake the rescue after North Wales Police identified the grid reference location of the goat.

The goat was trapped approximately 100-foot from the ground on a ledge on the side of a mountain at Trem Y Moelwyn in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Kevin Williams – a member of the public who spotted the troubled goat at the remote location – had been firing carrots up to her using a catapult with his son Iago, to help the animal in her hour of need.

An RSPCA rope rescue team was deployed to reach the goat – safely placing the animal into a bag, and lowering her to safety.

RSPCA inspector Vicky Taylor – who led the exercise, plus inspectors Nayman Dunderdale, Jenny Anderton, Mike Pugh and Mark Roberts, and animal collection officer Ann Lloyd-Williams completed the rescue. A full welfare assessment was carried out before the goat was returned to the wild.

Inspector Pugh said: “Rescues such as this are notoriously difficult. The conditions need to be right to ensure safety, so we had to monitor this situation very closely.

“We’re so grateful to Kevin Williams and his son Iago, who reported this to us – and showed immense kindness to the goat by utilising a makeshift catapult to fire carrots up to the animal. This was undoubtedly a great help, and when we reached the goat, we found plenty of half-eaten carrots – showing the goat was clearly very grateful!

“Fortunately, our rope rescue team was able to reach the goat – which was some 100-feet up, and totally stranded on a mountain ledge. We then put the goat into a bag, and safely lowered her down.

“She was understandably a little shaken up – but was fine after a thorough welfare assessment; and we were able to return her to the wild.

“This rescue was completed before the recent Covid-19 outbreak worsened significantly in the UK – but is a timely reminder as to the difficult emergency work we carry out to help animals in urgent need. To help the RSPCA through this challenging time, please visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/coronavirus or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181 to help us.”

After the goat was safely rescued, Mr Williams said: “My son Iago and I are very happy this goat was rescued safely. We spotted her, contacted the RSPCA, and wanted to help keep her safe. We had the idea of firing carrots up to her, to help keep her fed and well.”