News

A real kidnapping with circus goat taken from Gunalda camp

Ringmaster John MacDonnell comforts performing goat Queen Elisabeth III after she lost her mate Coco Pops.
Ringmaster John MacDonnell comforts performing goat Queen Elisabeth III after she lost her mate Coco Pops. Craig Warhurst

JOHN MacDonnell is proud to be keeping alive the traditional travelling country circus.

But Tuesday night, someone literally stole the show - or at least one of its major stars, a much-loved acrobatic boer goat called Coco Pops (after his white body and chocolate head).

Coco Pops performs the amazing balancing tricks that goats are made for, walking a 25mm timber "tight rope", leaping from pedestal to pedestal and readily making himself available for child admirers who want to give him a pat.

"I crack my whip a couple of times, because people expect that," Mr MacDonnell said.

But, as Coco Pops and his mate, Queen Elizabeth III, slept, balanced on the vehicle barrier perches around the circus' Gunalda camp site ("They don't like to get their feet wet," says Mr MacDonnell), someone apparently saw a kidnapping opportunity.

This has left her majesty the goat lonely and pining for her lost companion.

"She's partly a German breed and partly an English one, just like the Queen, so we named her Queen Elizabeth III," he explained.

Mr MacDonnell thinks Coco Pops was stolen from their camp at Gunalda and is hoping for his return.
Mr MacDonnell thinks Coco Pops was stolen from their camp at Gunalda and is hoping for his return.

Claiming to be Australia's longest-serving ringmaster, Mr MacDonnell takes his uniquely personal small-scale Eden Brothers Good Time Circus around some of the smallest towns and villages we have.

"We show all round this area," he said at Gunalda yesterday.

"In the last month and a half we've shown at Kenilworth, Imbil, Amamoor, Yandina, Pomona and Gunalda. In the past we've played at Chatsworth, Cooroy and Eumundi.

""We showed here on Friday night and we were off to Bauple, but the ground is too wet there, so we're off to Howard to show on Friday and Saturday night.

"When we showed at Amamoor, people said it was the first time a circus had ever come to their town."

Mr MacDonnell loves his animals, including two Rhesus monkeys, almost as much as the two mated goats love each other.

"I fed him at 9pm to give him a bedtime snack and about 5.45am I went to feed him breakfast and he wasn't there."

Gympie Times

Topics:  animals circus entertainment goat gunalda kidnapping



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

You're too predicta-Bill

Nothing better describes Bill Shorten than his response to the 11th hour result concerning the Backpackers Tax, according to Colin Claridge.

Cynical and predictable, that's what Colin thinks of Labor

Stuck for Secret Santa ideas? There are plenty in Gymipie

LOVING THE LOCALS: Euphoria owner Lynn Wake has a number of secret Santa ideas.

Scott answers the age-old question: What to buy for secret Santa?

The Kandanga Hotel comes back from the ashes

TAKING SHAPE: Doug Greensill standing where the start of the new Kandanga pub will stand.

A year after the fire, the new Kandanga Hotel takes shape.

Local Partners

End-of-year break-up for OWN

GUNABUL Homestead was the place to be for 62 members of the Older Women's Network on December 1.


Your definitive Gympie guide to school holiday fun

HANDS ON: Get the chance to create your own clay animals at the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Check out the amazing things to do over the school holidays.

GARAGE SALES: Where to grab a bargain this weekend

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Take a look at these treasure troves

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!