Serious 111 call...about a goat

ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 05:00 24/05/2014

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He may have had four legs, two horns and a liking for grass but a loose goat was treated as seriously as a human menace by a 111 operator.

A Wellingtonian had a surreal conversation with an emergency services telephonist when they reported a goat wandering beside State Highway 1 on Thursday afternoon.

"Thinking that it could possibly cause an accident, I called 111. After a long discussion on how far south of Porirua the goat was - 2km or 3km? I don't bloody know! - the operator started reading from what was obviously a suspect identification script," the caller said in a workplace email.

The motorist recalled the conversation as follows:

Operator: What colour was the goat?

Motorist: White.

Operator: Did it have any distinguishing marks?

Motorist: Um, it had a collar on.

Operator: What age was it?

Motorist: I don't know, it was a goat!

Operator: Was it slim, medium or heavy build?

Motorist: It was a goat!

Operator: Was it hungry?

"I think he panicked when he asked that last question, unless of course there's a band of dangerous man-eating goats just south of Porirua and he wasn't sure whether he needed the armed response unit or not," the motorist said.

"I think it illustrates why contact centre staff shouldn't always stick to a script."

A police spokeswoman said the pair exchanged some humorous banter, but the call was treated seriously and animal control was advised of the situation.

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- The Dominion Post

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