Dwarf goat dream turns into nightmare for 7-year-old boy

16 October 2017 - 16:11 By Petru Saal
A male dwarf goat. File photo.
A male dwarf goat. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

A young Cape Town boy’s dream of having a party with a petting zoo turned into a nightmare on Saturday when some residents mistakenly thought that a bleating dwarf goat tied to a tree was being slaughtered.

Believing some kind of macabre ritual was taking place‚ a “huge crowd” gathered at the Woodstock park where the party was being held after a woman took to social media claiming that she had witnessed the ghastly act‚ creating a huge hullabaloo.

However‚ Siraj Waggie‚ said this could not be further from the truth. His seven-year-old son had nagged him for a party with a petting zoo. On Saturday Waggie made his little boy's dream come true when a variety of animals‚ including the dwarf goat‚ were brought to the park in Woodstock.

“It was his idea to do the petting zoo. He loves animals. We are always at petting farms. Whenever it is holiday we would go to a farm with him” said Waggie.

However‚ the petting zoo did not sit well with passers-by who assumed something sinister was brewing and took to social media to raise the alarm.

“Did call SPCA but scared. Drove away but I am hysterical‚'' Megan Furniss wrote on Facebook.

Mandy Soulsby-Bodart then replied: “Just been up there‚ no sign of goat‚ but strong smell of braai.”

Jennifer Bradley concurred that the goat was murdered in the park.

“I am sure that goat was slaughtered. Anybody that can go with you to the park and check for blood and take some pics for the spca?” Bradley posted.

The father of three said these inquisitive people could have approached the party-goers to ascertain what was going on instead of making wild accusations.

He hit back on social media: "To all the other keyboard commandos that accused us of ritual slaughtering and bestiality - may you find inner peace and focus your energy on creating a better South Africa for all…There were a few suspicious looking caucasians lurking through the park with their dogs‚ one woman I noticed at the petting shelter but I didn't pay too much attention to‚ Megan this was probably you..."

The 36-year-old has been living in the area for three years and said he had never been on the receiving end of racism and gets along with his neighbours. He said he could have reacted violently but chose to put the ''hilarious'' incident behind him.

“A dwarf goat blares all the time‚ and it doesn’t stop blaring‚” Waggie explained.

Waggie said that even the Metro Police had approached them to enquire about the goat.

Spokesperson for the SPCA Tarra McGovern confirmed that one of their inspectors were called out to the area following complaints. But when they got there the party and the goat had gone.

“We have since been informed that the goat in question has not been harmed and belongs to a petting zoo which hires animals out to kiddies parties‚” said McGovern.

According to the Mail & Guardian a "deeply sorry" Furniss later posted an apology. She said as an animal lover she was "deeply disturbed'' to see and hear the goat in distress. She said she arrived with her dogs but left when she heard the goat's screaming.

"I am beyond devastated that I have hurt people and caused pain and outrage. I have also learned a hideous lesson about social media‚ the escalation (without actual help) and the cruelty of name calling‚ calling out and shaming. I am duly brought down‚ properly humiliated and full of shame. Please accept my humble apology‚'' she wrote.