A heartbroken goat refused to leave his friend after they were abandoned under a bridge in Crewe.
RSPCA officers were called to Basford, in Cheshire, on Monday morning by a Network Rail worker who spotted the goats under the viaduct.
RSPCA inspectors Nadine Pengilly and Naomi Norris attended the scene to locate the goats.
Although the goats had been spotted four days earlier it wasn’t clear whether the second goat had died before or after being abandoned at the dumping ground.
Despite being reported, the inspectors had to contact Trading Standards to get the permission needed to move the goats, as is needed with all livestock.
When they returned the following day it took four people to move the traumatised goat, who couldn’t bear to be parted from his dead friend.
Two had to hold on to his horns and the others each held a lead rope around his neck as they tried to avoid being headbutted.
The goat, who had no injuries and seemed to be in a good condition, will be moved to a local smallholding where he will have new friends to mix with.
‘It was heartbreaking to see him standing there, guarding the body of his friend,’ inspector Pengilly said.
‘Goats are incredibly social animals and this chap refused to leave his friend, even after he had died, watching over him and protecting his body, possibly for days.
‘It’s really touching to see the bond between them and so sad to think someone could so cruelly abandon them here.
‘At least now we know this goat will go on to live a happy life with other goats, just as he should.’