Two goats which led rescuers on a four-day chase around Hartlepool and East Durham are being assessed for rehoming by the RSPCA.
The two goats were first spotted on the Headland in Hartlepool last Tuesday, sparking a search and rescue operation by the RSPCA accompanied by Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland Police, Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council.
Then on Friday members of the public with a van blocked one end of St Cuthbert Street, Hartlepool, while a police car blocked the other and RSPCA officers arrived and were able to coax the pair into a horsebox.
Earlier in the day a major operation was launched when the pair were spotted in Blackhall Colliery, which led to several officers from the RSPCA, joined by police and council staff, but the animals evaded capture.
The goats were described as ‘very agile’ and the RSPCA added that it had been a ‘very difficult rescue’ due to the terrain, amount of area the goats were covering and the size and speed of the animals.
The pair are now in the care of the RSPCA and are being assessed to decide what to do with them next.
RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent said: “We got a call on Friday night to say that the goats were confined in an alleyway in Hartlepool and four RSPCA officers went straight there with a horse box.
“The goats seemed to know the chase was over and walked onto the horsebox with very little guiding from us.
“We are grateful to everyone who assisted with their rescue.
“We’ve spent several days trying to capture these goats in what, sadly, seems to be yet another example of an irresponsible owner abandoning their animals for charities and public services to deal with.
“It would seem that these goats have had little or no handling.
"They are now in our care where they will be assessed for rehoming.”
It is not known where they came from but numerous efforts to catch them proved unsuccessful.
The animal charity had even been putting out food to try to lure them out and earlier said it was looking into the possibility of tranquilising them.
The public was warned to contact authorities and not to approach the pair due to their large horns.