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Published: Monday, 9/23/2013

23 purebred goats stolen from Hawaii farm; owner says thieves use duct tape to keep them quiet

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Two of the goats that were left behind by thieves, bound, and duct taped at the Kahuku Goats Farms on the island of Oahu in the county of Honolulu, Hawaii. Two of the goats that were left behind by thieves, bound, and duct taped at the Kahuku Goats Farms on the island of Oahu in the county of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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HONOLULU — More than 20 purebred goats— most of them pregnant — were stolen from a Hawaii farm on a full moonlit night, with duct tape used to keep the animals from making noise, their owner said.

Sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning, 23 goats valued for a total of about $10,000 were stolen from Kahuku Goats, a 250-acre farm on Oahu’s North Shore, said owner Keal Pontin. Two bucks were left behind with ropes around their neck and duct tape over their mouths, he said today.

“It was devastating to us,” said Pontin, 23, who has been goat farming with several friends for about a year. “We’re going to find these guys.”

Twenty-one of the goats were pregnant and 10 of them were days away from giving birth. “If you think about it, they’re taking nannies with babies in them and throwing them over a 6-foot-tall fence,” he said. “Just thinking of our pregnant goats going over a fence like that is just sickening to us.”

Pontin suspects the thieves watched the farm, got to know their routine, then waited for the light of a full moon. “To haul that many animals out ... they had to have help,” he said. “This was a production. They came in on a full moon.”

Six of the goats were pets, bottle-fed from birth. One of them is named Kiwi and was about to give birth. “She grew up in our arms, following us around the farm, feeding her,” Pontin said. “That was the most important one to us. She was like our family.”

Pontin contacted police and is offering a reward amount that he doesn’t want to disclose. The case has been classified as second-degree theft and police are following up on leads, said Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

“I just want my animals back,” he said. “We love farming. We love ranching. This is our passion.”

Ever since KHON-TV first reported the thefts, Pontin said he’s been hearing about goats being sold cheaply, for about $20 to $100 each.



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