Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.
“The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car,” Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.
“They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat.
“We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.”
I wonder what rights the goat has. Does it have the right to legal representation? To be treated equally before the law?
Yes, I do have a fascination with the status of animals in litigation, and it’s not just a historical phenomenon or something which occurs in other countries. As I’ve posted previously, Australia has a recent example of animals being served with a trespass notice. And then there’s Chico the delinquent monkey who was put to death as a result of his crimes in the US.
Dave Bath tells of the bonobo with a “passport” and a seat on a plane, and of Haisl, an Austrian chimpanzee, who is seeking to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against a decision of the Austrian Supreme Court that he is not entitled to a guardian. The Austrian Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of Haisl’s “personhood”, saying that he was not entitled to a guardian because he was not mentally impaired nor in danger.
Cearta.ie has a post on animals in litigation as well, telling of a Macedonian bear which was found guilty of theft and criminal damage last year.
If the goat is going to be treated as if it has a human incarnation, I think it deserves representation. But this raises the question of how it is going to give instructions to its counsel! Somehow, I doubt the case will get that far, but look at all these other animals in legal proceedings, or with a legal status…it just shows that you never know.