Birth of ‘miracle’ goat defies Turkey’s deadly fires

The farmer lost eight of his livestock but was blessed with newborn kid

When a wildfire spread to his village, Turkish farmer Sercan Bayat shouted at his cows to run from the flames and prayed for his own death rather than witness his animals perish.

Seeing his herd threatened by the inferno – a moment he captured on video – was the most difficult moment in his life, he said.

But although he lost eight of his livestock in the blaze, he later found a newborn goat kid lying helpless, but still breathing, after its mother had died in the fire.

“Two or three hours after the flames were put out, I saw this one on the ground. He is our baby goat now. We called him Miracle,” Mr Bayat, 30, said.

“We found another goat amid the wildfire. She has a baby. There you go. Miracle number two,” Mr Bayat said, and kissed the newest additions.

He said that although his farm in Manavgat, southern Turkey, is severely damaged and he lost some of his animals, he is now “over the moon” at the kids’ survival.

The inferno was one of about 100 fires that officials say broke out this week across southern and western Turkey. Sweltering heat and strong wind fanned the flames.

The death toll from the fires rose to six on Saturday, when two firefighters died during efforts to control the blaze in Manavgat. Thousands of people have fled their homes.

Satellite imagery showed smoke from the fires in Antalya and Mersin extended to Cyprus, about 150 kilometres away.

Bushfires are common in southern Turkey in the summer, but local authorities say the latest blazes cover a much bigger area.

Updated: August 1st 2021, 11:53 AM