A much-loved Kaikoura pet has died.
Georgie the goat, of Scarborough St, who became so well-known he literally became a landmark, was 16 and a half years old when he died of a stroke recently.
He was a neighbourhood favourite for years, with up to 30 people a day stopping to visit and give him a branch, an apple or his all-time favourite, malt biscuits, his owner Elizabeth Beazley said.
Kaikoura was appalled when Georgie was attacked and mauled by a roaming dog, escaping with two broken legs and a bite through his windpipe.
He was patched up at the vets' who gave him two casts but his legs remained deformed for the rest of his life, Mrs Beazley said.
Georgie was also stolen once, on the weekend of a Roots Festival and spotted in a paddock near Suburban School by a local who knew him.
Kaikoura's Ron and Elizabeth Schofield were big fans and caretakers of George until they moved to Blenheim last year.
Mrs Beazley said when the Schofields left, other locals stepped in to fill the gap.
"He was a great old goat – he'll be missed. He's a bit of a Kaikoura icon. He was well looked after by lots of the locals who walked past every day."
Mrs Beazley said Georgie was so well-known he became a landmark, with locals using him as a reference point when giving directions.
Being in a public place, Mrs Beazley said Georgie, with his deformed legs, was often seen hobbling around by visitors who would call the SPCA and the vet to report an abused goat.
The SPCA then would follow the well-worn path to a happy Georgie munching on his latest treat.
Georgie was the Beazleys' first pet when they moved to Kaikoura more than 16 years ago.
Mrs Beazley said her oldest son, then aged nine, picked Georgie from a herd on a farm where her husband, Bill, worked near Peketa.
"My husband said you can pick a goat, any goat, and he picked the poorest, saddest miserable little goat,
"He had a big crust on his nose from the gorse. He named him George."
Mrs Beazley said after Georgie, the family acquired more pets who were abandoned and homeless and most were now "pretty ancient".
The line-up included a 16-year-old dog, three kune kune pigs of which the oldest is 14 and an old cat.
She would not replace Georgie, she said, despite already receiving offers, but she thanked everyone who helped look after him and made his life a happy one.
- © Fairfax NZ News