GREEN'S HARBOUR, NL — The owner of a pregnant goat is grateful neighbours happened to come across the animal when it was trapped in an icy bog hole last weekend.
"I think if they didn't come across her when they did, I would have lost her I'd say — give it another half-hour or so," Green's Harbour farmer Mevin Green told The Compass. "It was really, really cold."
Joann Greeley and her partner were out for a walk Sunday, Jan. 7, and hadn't ventured far when they heard a high-pitched scream coming from an animal.
"Originally we thought it was a baby moose," Greeley told The Compass when describing the noise. "We thought it's either lost its mother, or it's after getting caught in a coyote (trap), because I know there's all kinds of snares around there."
Instead, the pair found themselves face-to-face with the female goat. Its front legs were on a piece of ice, with the hind legs stuck in the bog hole.
"It was really deep," Greeley said. "When she saw us, she broke through the ice. She was actually almost having a swim. She wasn't standing up in the bog hole."
Greeley's partner found a big stick almost the size of a fence post stake and positioned it under her rear end, and Greeley crouched down in the hole to grab the goat's front end.
"Then we pulled her over and got the front end out of the bog hole, and then once we got her there, you could kind of see she was a bit relieved," Greeley said.
When the goat made her next attempt to get out, Greeley and her partner were still holding on and able to successfully aid her. Once out, she immediately laid down on her side. Greeley could tell based on her size the animal was an expectant mother.
They knew the goat belonged to Green, who lived a few houses down from the couple, so Greeley comforted the goat while her partner went to fill the owner in on what had happened. Greeley estimates the goat was a five-minute walk away from the barn.
"At that point, she was really shivering a lot," said Greeley, realizing this was probably a good sign as it showed the animal was not completely exhausted.
Green arrived a few minutes later on his ATV. He admitted to being surprised at hearing of the goat's misadventure.
They walked with the goat for a while, but her steps were a bit shaky.
"Every time you would let go of her, she'd try and go right towards the trees to get in and lie down again," Greeley said.
Eventually, they lifted the goat onto the front of the ATV. Greeley and her partner held the goat while Green looked after the final 200 feet. Green said it was the animal's first ride of that sort.
"When we got her down to the barn, we just opened the barn door and she ran right in," Greeley said.
As of Thursday morning, the goat was doing very well according to its owner. Green expects the goat will give birth to a kid in about a month.
"Just thankful that they came across her in time," said the owner, who has eight goats in all.