CHIBA -- A young goat nicknamed "Ponyo" by locals has found an unlikely home on a concrete-reinforced slope above a railway line in the city of Sakura in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.
The kid strayed onto the retaining wall above the Keisei Main Line in the city and has been living there for over two months, apparently unruffled by the trains clattering past.
The young goat, a female aged around 6 months, escaped in around mid-May from its owner, a 63-year-old local man, who had only just got it. The steep slope where it is now living is about 20 meters high, and trains travel directly beneath it, which has prevented people from approaching. There is plenty of grass on the slope, providing ample food for the young goat.
The kid, who can be seen frolicking about on the concrete retaining wall from trains on the line and from a nearby road, has attracted onlookers.
"I photograph it every time I see it. It's getting bigger and bigger each day," said a woman in her 70s who goes for walks in the area each morning, as she pointed her smartphone at the animal. The goat has been nicknamed "Ponyo," after the anime of the same title.
Some people have expressed concerns that the kid could become unwell as it is exposed to the blazing summer sun, and that it could fall and be struck by a train. There have also been fears of a traffic accident caused by people parking alongside the train tracks or turning their heads while driving to look at it. Its owner has been developing a plan with people knowledgeable about the situation to rescue the goat.
"I'm sorry for causing trouble for everyone in the railway company. I want to rescue it quickly," the owner said.
(Japanese original by Mamoru Kanazawa, Chiba Bureau)