Heartless | 

Three newborn baby goats stolen in Kilkenny leaving young owner heartbroken

“He'd wanted them for a long time, and this was his first little kind of farm enterprise, and he was delighted that there were two females and a male born on Wednesday night, they are the cutest little creatures"

The three newborn pygmy goats which have been stolen

Conor Feehan

Three newborn pygmy goats have been stolen by what is believed to be an organised gang who are trading the popular cute animals valued at up to €600.

The theft in Kilkenny on Friday has left the mother goat pining for her kids, and their 15-year-old owner saddened.

The pygmy goat kids were just two days old when they vanished. In February a three-week-old pygmy goat was stolen from Newbridge House Farm in Donabate in north Dublin.

Ads on popular online trading sites show that female pygmy goats can be traded for as high as €600, and males for around €200.

The owners of the goats in Kilkenny had posted photos of them on social media last Thursday, the day after they were born, and now they are fearful that unscrupulous gangs could be trawling social media looking for such animals, and have urged people not to share their good news like they did for fear they could be targeted.

“The parent goats were a Christmas present to our 15-year-old son Charlie, and he had plans to breed them.

"He was already planning the next generation from the two little females born on Wednesday,” said Francis Nesbitt, who runs the Croan Cottages self-catering holiday site in Dunnamaggan, Co Kilkenny.

“He'd wanted them for a long time, and this was his first little kind of farm enterprise, and he was delighted that there were two females and a male born on Wednesday night, they are the cutest little creatures.

“And it was just too tempting for me on Thursday not to post photos of them. I've been off social media for months because of relentless negativity. And I don't know what tempted me on Thursday, they were just so cute, so lovely, that I posted photos of them on Twitter and Instagram. And now of course, as you can imagine, I'm filled with guilt for having done this.”

“But if I didn’t post photos of them it’s always possible that next week or the week after some visitor here could have posted a photo of them from their holiday with the best of intentions. And horrible creatures out there then just use that as an opportunity for theft,” he added.

Mr Nesbitt said the animals just vanished, and there was no signs that they were attacked by wild animals, and there was no way they could have escaped on their own.

While Mr Nesbitt has CCTV covering his house, he said he can’t have cameras all over the land because people are on holidays there and deserve privacy.

“We have holiday cottages here, so the whole idea of having the animals about the place is that it adds to people's holiday. We try to keep as many different animals as we can here for visitors to enjoy.

"We have a peacock, alpacas, calves, hens and we have sheep ready to lamb."

He warned anyone who is thinking of buying a pygmy goat kid to be very wary of who they buy from, and how young the animal is.

Mr Nesbitt thinks that the pygmy kids might be offered for sale in the future, either in an ad or through the black market.

“There's milk replacement powder readily available, and what I was thinking was that whoever took them will just buy a couple of bags of that and would raise them until they're six or eight weeks old, and then keep them maybe another bit and sell them on because I know that young females will go for €600 and young males for about €200.

“People should be wary if they're buying a goat that is offered at a very young age. I can understand why people want to keep them, they are very cute and very friendly, but they're probably harder to keep than people realise.

"But when you're buying them, just like with puppies or anything else, you have to be careful where they're coming from, and if somebody offers to meet you in a car park to sell you a goat there's probably a reason why.”

“Our son Charlie just has an absolute sense of justice, and now he's now looking at his first dose of injustice. I just can't get it. The poor mother goat is crying for them. It’s very distressing,” he added.

Gardai are investigating the incident, and have taken statements and enquired from adjoining landowners about CCTV that might be useful.

The theft of the pygmy goat from Newbridge House Farm in Donabate at the end of February was caught on CCTV.

In that instance a person scaled a wall, took one of the young goats from its mother’s side, and put it in a backpack before climbing back out of the enclosure.

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