Amateur photographer spots goats up a tree in Queen’s Park...Kidding!

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Readers of The Extra proved yesterday that they were no (April) fools.

Our hoax story about goats up trees in Queen’s Park wasn’t fooling anyone, as posts on our social networks proved.

And our attempt to ‘authenticate’ our story by roping in influential community leader Reuben Chesters of Locavore ‘buy local’ store to go along with our little ruse wasn’t enough to pull the wool over their eyes.

Perhaps there was a little hint in naming our amateur photographer Len Slottery (or Lens lottery).

While there are indeed goats who dine up in the branches of argan trees in a small area in Morocco, from which argan oil is extracted – and the owner of Locavore did have pygmy goats penned in Queen’s Park for a time – our goats-up-a-tree story closer to home was, indeed, an April Fool.

For those who missed the hoax online, here’s what we printed:

A keen-eyed amateur photographer spotted an unusual sight whilst taking pictures in Queen’s Park for his local camera club end of year showcase.

Len Slottery, of Shawlands, was dumbfounded to see a group of goats high in a tree among the branches munching away at the leaves.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Len. “So, since the camera never lies, I fired off a few shots just to prove what I’d seen. It’ll certainly make a talking point for our end of year show.”

The mystery of the ‘goats up a tree’ was solved by community leader and ‘slow food’ campaigner Reuben Chesters, owner of the eat-local-buy-local shop Locavore.

“The photographer wasn’t seeing things,” said Reuben. “We had to move our pygmy goats out of the pen at Queen’s Park to make way for a breed of goat that feeds from the leaves of nut trees.”

Reuben got the idea to harvest nut oil for a range of culinary and skincare products during a trip to Morocco last year.

He told The Extra: “There is a breed of goat that feeds off the Argan tree, which is found in only one area in Morocco, North Africa. They crack the berry and the inner Argan nut or kernel is discarded. A small co-operative of artisans gather the nuts and grind them by hand to extract the oil, which is used to produce Argan oil of cooking quality and other skincare, haircare and cosmetic products.”

Reuben is keeping tightlipped about any potential food or skincare range harvested from the Queen’s Park goats, saying: “I think it would take more than one tree and a few goats.”

With thanks to Reuben Chesters for being game for a laugh. Mind you, we may have given him an idea...