December 26, 2020
In recent times, the BBC and other British news services have been reporting on the Llandudno goats. For those who are unfamiliar, Llandudno is a Welsh town with a reputation for its good-looking beaches as well as its good-looking buildings, with the result that it is sometimes called the “Queen of the Welsh Watering Places.” Under normal circumstances, the place is packed with people. However, the COVID-19 crisis has caused its streets to become deserted, which has made it possible for a group of Kashmiri goats from the Great Orme to move in. Some people are regarding the whole thing with much amusement, whereas others are much less enthused by the animals munching on their greenery.
Those who are curious should know something about Kashmiri goats. For starters, some people might be more familiar with Kashmiri goats under the name of cashmere goats, which are used to produce cashmere wool. The name is no coincidence because Cashmere is an old, outdated spelling for Kashmir, the region that can be found in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
As for how Kashmiri goats winded up in Wales, well, there is a surprising amount of information about that. The whole thing started up because of Squire Christopher Tower, who got his hands on a couple of cashmere goats from France. In time, he produced a cashmere shawl, which impressed King George IV so much that the latter accepted a pair of Tower’s cashmere goats given as a gift. This was the start of the Windsor herd, two of which were brought to Gloddaeth Hall by one Sir Savage Mostyn. It is unclear how the cashmere goats winded up in the Great Orme, but it is possible that they were deliberately moved there because they were unsuitable as park animals.
Goats have a long history with humans, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they have taken on a wide range of roles in a wide range of stories. For example, medieval Europeans associated goats with Satan, which presumably wasn’t helped by the behavior of bucks in rut. Meanwhile, goats are one of the 12 animals included in the Chinese zodiac, with the result that people born under it are supposed to be introverted but creative perfectionists. As for the Llandudno goats, they have spent about a century out in the wild, which has brought out changes in them compared to their ancestors. For instance, they are heavier animals with bigger, longer horns. On top of that, some of them have dark, triangular marks running from their eyes to their mouth, though it is unclear how this trait managed to get into them.
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