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September 18, 2021

Wategoat missing

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The famed lone goat at Cape Byron, that led National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff on a merry dance earlier this year is feared to have died. She has not been seen for six weeks.

The goat was part of a herd that were introduced almost a century ago by the Watego family and the then lighthouse keeper to ‘keep down weeds’.

But the goats turned feral and grazed the Cape’s natural grasses to near extinction last century.

NPWS rounded up and relocated the rest of the animals a decade ago but the infamous Wategoat, as she became known, eluded them.

Earlier this year, Wategoat was the target of an extensive – and expensive – roundup effort, after she was thought to be stranded at the base of a cliff.

When NPWS workers abseiled down to ‘rescue’ her, she ran straight up the cliff unaided.

The goat will now be remembered through her namesake, the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron Bay, which was opened last month by former mayor and Greens MLC Jan Barham.

Ms Barham made no effort to hide the fact she was unimpressed by the decision to name the gallery ‘after a feral animal’.


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