Locals wild about young goat

By Joseph Aldridge

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There's a new kid on the block in Mount Maunganui this week and his name is Lawn Moa.

Originally from the hills of Te Akau, the cloven-hoofed herbivore was among hundreds of holidaymakers making the most of a break in the weather to stroll along Pilot Bay yesterday morning.

Proud parents Dee Phoenix and Michelle Melis, of Auckland, bought their new pet from a lady in Te Akau who sells wild goat kids orphaned by the hunter's gun.

Lawn Moa, or Moa as he is affectionately known, has now been adopted into a home shared by a number of other animals including dogs, cats and rabbits.

Down from Auckland to visit Dee's family over Christmas, the cute black-and-white Lawn Moa attracted a lot of attention as he strutted his stuff down The Mall.

Walking around Mauao took a lot longer than normal, Dee said, because of the amount of people who wanted to ask about Moa and/or pat him. "People stop their cars and take photos," she said.

"He's very social, he's like a little rockstar," Michelle said.

Michelle and Dee saw Moa advertised on Trade Me about seven weeks ago and drove from Auckland to Te Akau to pick him up immediately.

He was only two days old.

Dee was so affected by what she saw in Te Akau that she's organising a volunteer working bee to make-over the refuge where Moa came from.

Now he's toilet trained (he uses the kitty litter) and is starting to wean himself off the bottle and develop a taste for green leafy things.

When he's older he'll spend his days in the backyard and his nights curled up on the couch, the couple said. Dee's mum wasn't rapt to see Moa turn up at Christmas time.

However, by the end of the day he was inside with the rest of the family, she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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