The Marauding Goats of Sudan

Sudan goats

Goats in Bor are on the move now that chain-link fencing is keeping them out of the CRS compound.. Photo by Renee Lambert/CRS

Renee Lambert, Catholic Relief Services’ area coordinator in Bor in Southern Sudan, sends in this field story.

The goats of Bor town have been a thorn in my side ever since I arrived in Southern Sudan. While quite adorable, these goats are also clever and very persistent.

Goats will eat anything and everything. They love our compound because we have lots of green stuff to nibble on. And unfortunately for me, they seem to think the beautiful fresh green leaves of my young papaya and mango trees are the goat equivalent of veal.

Repeated attempts to keep the goats out have been completely unsuccessful. I’ve chased them around the compound on more than one occasion—a task that is definitely not in my job description. So a couple of months ago, in an attempt to keep the goats out, we installed some heavy duty wiring along the bottom portion of the fence. Unfortunately, this only resulted in our compound looking a bit like a low security prison without deterring the little rascals one bit.

One morning I was having coffee with friends at the neighboring compound, and we saw the whole goat gang bust into our compound right through the wire. They barreled through like it was nothing. My friends rolled with laughter. “It looks like the goats are having their daily meeting in your compound,” one said. “And yes, now the chairperson has just arrived.”

A few weeks ago I said, “Halas! Finished! These goats must go!” I wrote to the head office asking if they could send some of the chain link left over from when they fenced their compound. “We need to improve the security of our compound,” I informed them. “We are being infiltrated by goats!”

The chain link arrived and in a joint effort by our field staff was installed in three days. Miraculously, our compound has been goat-free for over a month. But I can see that the goats are confused and sad. They look as if they’ve been wrongfully displaced. In fact, a few days ago, as I was leaving the compound around sunset time, I found about 20 of them milling around outside our compound gate. Clearly they’d called a meeting to discuss their next move. But rest assured, those little dudes will not take down any more papaya or mango trees in our compound—not on my watch!

Share on Twitter

Tags: ,

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.