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This Island Wants to Round Up Its Wild Goats. Catching Them Won’t Be Easy.

Come June, a crack team of wildlife experts plans to swarm the volcanic cliffs and natural caves of a small island in the Mediterranean to ensnare what has become an out-of-control species: goats gone wild.

It is the first step in a mission to rid the Aeolian island of Alicudi, just north of Sicily, of the hundreds of feral goats that are crowding out the island’s 100 or so year-round human inhabitants, so that the animals can be adopted elsewhere.

“We are all for goats running free, but let’s be clear: These aren’t Heidi’s kid goats,” said Carolina Barnao, a council member in neighboring Lipari, which administers its fellow Aeolian islands. “Some of them could even become dangerous.”

After being seized on Alicudi, the goats will be rustled down to an enclosure near the island’s port, tested for diseases and then hoisted onto a ship heading to Sicily, where they will spend two months in quarantine. Then, they can be adopted and taken to greener pastures.

Yet it is not as straightforward as it sounds.

For one thing, said Giovanni Dell’Acqua, the regional government official overseeing the undertaking, the goats are fast and can leap 10 feet in a bound. They can also weigh as much as 175 pounds, he said — “think of what that means.”

And while the animals will be penned up on Alicudi “for as short a time as possible,” Mr. Dell’Acqua said, officials still have not quite sorted out what kind of boat to use to safely transport the goats to the mainland.

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