Home Lifestyle This Italian island is so overrun with goats, it’s giving them away

This Italian island is so overrun with goats, it’s giving them away


How many goats is too many goats? (Picture: Getty Images)

From the cost of accommodation to the availability of sun, there are many things that influence our holiday choices.

But what about the roaming wildlife? One Italian island is so overrun with goats that it’s now trying to give them away. Yes, you read that correctly.

The island of Alicudi, which has the smallest population (of humans, that is) on Sicily’s Aeolian archipelago, now has more goats than people.

A recent census determined the true number after these fluffy friends were increasingly roaming the island and concluded that whilst there are only 100 human residents, there are six times the number of goats, which begs the question: just how many goats is too many goats?

600, apparently, according to the mayor of Alicudi.

It’s believed that the goats were first brought to the island 20 years ago as part of a plan to breed them, but that plan never came to fruition, and instead, they were left to freely roam.

Around 100 people live on Alicudi (Picture: Getty Images)

The goats are talented when it comes to navigating the region’s steep cliffs, which sit atop a dormant volcano.

However, they’re wreaking havoc amongst locals, damaging vegetation, eating plants and vegetables growing in gardens and allotments, and even wandering into people’s homes. They’re harmless, but this quaint Italian island isn’t able to deal with it.

Enter: the ‘Adopt a Goat’ policy, which is operating until April 10. In fact, people have already come forward, including a farmer on Vulcano island who makes ricotta cheese.

‘We absolutely do not want to even consider culling the animals, so we are encouraging the idea of giving them away,’ said mayor Riccardo Gullo.

Alicudi and Filicudi can be seen in the background (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

‘Anyone can make a request for a goat, it doesn’t have to be a farmer, and there are no restrictions on numbers.’

Alicudi isn’t the only place that’s struggling with its local animal population.

In Colombia, the local population in Medellín is overrun by the chaos that the infamous ‘cocaine hippos,’ introduced by none other than the ‘King of Cocaine’ Pablo Escobar, have caused.

The hippos bred in the wild after escaping the cocaine kingpin’s Colombian estate when he was shot dead in a police raid in 1993.

Descendants from a herd introduced by Pablo Escobar (Picture by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Since then, Colombia has struggled to find a way to deal with the ever-growing herd, which have continued to devastate local flora and fauna.

Officials were due to ship 74 of the so-called cocaine hippos to wildlife refuges in Mexico, India and Peru, but a year later the animals have still not been sent.

Elsewhere, there’s Pig Island in Big Major Cay in the Bahamas.

The famous swimming pink pigs (Picture by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

No people live on the island, but around 20 pigs and piglets survive on it, partly due to three freshwater springs, and partly due to generous locals and tourists who regularly attend to them.

It is unknown how the pigs came to be on the island, as they aren’t native and the island is uninhabited.

Legend says that a group of sailors dropped the pigs off at the island, with plans to come back and cook them. Another tells of how there was a shipwreck nearby and the pigs swam to safety.

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