Sad word from Sweden today — early this morning, the Gävle Goat went up in flames for the 27th time.
If you haven't been keeping track, the Gävle Goat (or Gävlebocken) is a 13-metre tall hay structure that goes up each year to celebrate advent in the Swedish town of Gävle — and it's proven irresistable to pranksters and arsonists, who dutifully attempt to burn it down before Christmas.
Here's a photo of the goat in flames from Swedish TV:
Mindre Jul i Gävle pic.twitter.com/rZMgtbRf3z— Anders Jansson (@AndersJansson13) December 21, 2013
And a sad-looking Swede standing with the torched goat this morning:
Ogod jul från Gävle pic.twitter.com/SRoJVoR02i— Fredrik Söderqvist (@fsoederqvist) December 21, 2013
Swedish news site The Local reported that police were alerted at 4 a.m. today that the goat was on fire. "I have a hard time believing that it may have started because of natural causes," said Fredrik Nilsson of the Gävle police.
The goat himself took to Twitter to apologize for his early — although not unexpected — exit:
I'm so sad my friends that I have to leave you now! Thank you for this year! Take care and have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!— Gävlebocken (@Gavlebocken) December 21, 2013
"We are really sorry," Maria Nässert, a spokesperson for the goat committee, told news agency TT. "We are supposed to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the goat in place. We are very sorry that it can't be just left be."
There were high hopes that the goat would survive this year — a group of volunteers had stepped forward to guard the 3.3-tonne structure, and it had been covered in flame retardant liquid as well.
Still, even though the goat did not make it to Christmas, it did better this year than last year, when it was torched on Dec. 12.
Via The Local