Goats give rescuers the runaround after showing up in Hartlepool
Two goats have been giving rescuers the runaround after turning up in Hartlepool.
The animals have been sighted today on the Headland including on the beach and in the Spion Kop cemetery.
Officers from the RSPCA and Hartlepool's Trading Standards team, who have responsibility for animal welfare, spent several hours trying to catch them but have so far been unsuccessful.
It is not known where they have come from but people are being urged not to approach them.
RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent said: "We've been aware of these goats since yesterday when we first attempted to rescue them from the cliffs.
"We went back to the area this morning to try again and they had moved further down the coastline.
"Officers spent two hours with the council and some members of the public attempting to confine them but were unsuccessful.
"This is going to be a difficult rescue as the area where the goats are is a large, open expanse of land on a cliff side.
"The goats seem to be healthy older animals, and are not allowing us to get close to them before they make a run for it.
"For the goats' welfare, a decision was made to re-attend tomorrow.
"These are large goats with horns and could potentially cause injury if not handled properly and we would urge the public to stay away from them."
They were last seen heading up the beach towards Crimdon.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “Public Protection staff were called out at about 10.30am yesterday to assist the RSPCA in dealing with two large mountain goats spotted in the vicinity of Spion Kop at Central Estate.
"They spent around two hours at the scene but all efforts to shepherd the goats into an RSPCA trailer were unsuccessful, and the goats were later reported to be heading back towards Crimdon along the beach."
Anyone who sees the goats is advised to keep their distance and to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234999 providing as much information as possible of their whereabouts.