Wild goats roaming around posh gardens on Queenstown Hill are to be shot.
About 30 goats are living the high life in and around one of the resort’s more exclusive neighbourhoods, feeding on manicured lawns and expensive plants.
Manchester Place resident June King spotted about seven in gardens on Belfast Terrace.
“They were strolling around like they owned the place,” King says.
“I’ve only seen them once, we couldn’t believe it.”
Queenstown’s council has engaged a professional contractor to cull the goats, after about 10 requests from residents.
Council spokesperson Michele Poole says: “He has been doing some low-key control already but the main operation will be straight after the school holidays, for safety reasons.”
Poole says problems with feral goats occur periodically. The last time it was serious enough to need a cull was in 2010.
“Numbers have increased again since then and the cold weather and snow has driven the goats lower on the hill this winter, which is why they’re appearing around houses more than usual.”
Council has received offers from hunters keen to help but because the area is so close to homes, the authority won’t issue permits to shoot there.
“The contractor has an audited safety operations plan and has been approved by the police.”
The cull will begin on Monday and a letter drop is planned so residents are aware of the operation.
Another cull is planned once the snow melts in the spring, when the remaining goats will have moved further up the hill.
Any residents in other suburbs who spot goats in their gardens are asked to contact the council.