Italian Island overrun by goats is offering them free to anyone who can catch them

4 Min Read

The tiny, remote Italian island of Alicudi is home to only around 100 residents and, ideally, about 100 wild goats.

This year, however, the ratio of humans to animals has become wildly unbalanced.

The island has been overrun by six times its desired number of goat inhabitants and has more of the animals per capita than anywhere else that counts such things—and mayor Riccardo Gullo is calling on anyone who can help to pitch in to solve the issue.

Gullo told CNN Thursday that he does not care whether you know anything about raising goats, as long as you have a boat to get them off the island—once you’ve caught them.

Vestmannaeyjar Iceland sunset over the sea

He said the “adopt-a-goat” program was created because the local authority will not cull the animals, which have encroached on residential areas, invaded homes, munched on whatever they can find in public parks, private gardens and hedges, and tried to climb stone walls that usually give way under their weight. (In short, they’re not the greatest of all time.)

According to the Sicilian regional government, the goats were introduced to the island around 20 years ago by a farmer who then set them free.

For years, the animals—which are not owned by anyone—grazed autonomously on the sides of Alicudi’s cliffs and are featured in almost any postcard from the volcanic island.

But left to their own devices, they have reproduced at an astonishing rate.

Anyone interested in taking up to 50 goats can make an official request with the community by April 10, the mayor said, though he added that he would extend the deadline until all the goats were adopted.

Alicudi island, Italy

The applicant must email their request to the local authority, and pay a €16 (around $17) stamp fee to make it official.

“We have heard from dozens of people since we first announced this,” Gullo said, including a farmer from the nearby island of Vulcano, who produces goat cheese.

“Ideally, we would like to see people try to domesticate the animals rather than eat them,” he added. However, the authorities will not be doing due diligence on any goat adopter’s intentions.

Once the goats have been apportioned, the goat-taker has 15 days to catch and remove them from the island.

While the giveaway will continue until the native herd is greatly reduced, a few will be left to pose for tourists.

Alicudi is the least inhabited of the seven Aeolian islands—the chain off Sicily’s northern coast that includes Stromboli and Lipari.

Goats aside, the island is also known for its local LSD bread, which was outlawed in the 1950s, and is a popular tourist stop for sailboats and volcano aficionados, who can see nearby Stromboli’s constant eruptions.


The rugged island has a large volcanic cone rising from the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has no hotels and no roads. Instead, transportation comes in the form of mules and donkeys treading steep climbing paths, according to the Visit Sicily website.

Alicudi is not the first place to see an unexpected influx of wandering goats.

In June, a neighbourhood in McKinney, Texas woke up to a shocking sight: 40 runaway goats strolling around—and taking bites out of—residents’ lawns after breaking away from a herd grazing at a nearby development.

And amid a coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, residents of Llandudno in Wales spotted herds of goats roaming the streets, after more than a dozen of the animals ventured down from the hill above the town.

Source: CNN

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *