Kid you not: A four-legged groundskeeper at Jamaica resort

Betty the goat is a hardworking, and very popular, member of the staff at Sunset at the Palms in Negril, Jamaica.
Betty the goat is a hardworking, and very popular, member of the staff at Sunset at the Palms in Negril, Jamaica.

The newest staffer at the 85-room Sunset at the Palms, an all-inclusive, adults-only resort in Negril Jamaica, was hired for her solid experience in chomping on greenery.

Betty the goat, who recently joined the grounds crew at the resort, received her formal training on a farm on the western end of Jamaica. She was introduced to the resort as part of an exchange through which the hotel shares its food waste with local pig farmers.

Through such arrangements Sunset hopes to attain its Green Globe certification, which requires its members to uphold the highest standards of sustainability. The certification also recognizes tourism-related businesses that help preserve and celebrate the culture of an area, and Betty plays a role in that as well.

And in this case the pop-culture acronym GOAT, or "greatest of all time," may also apply.

Her supervisor at Sunset, Basil Grant of the landscaping crew, reported that Betty tackles the tasks of managing grass and leaves with gusto and has quickly become the highlight of the resort's weekly nature tour. During the tour, guests learn about flora and fauna and encounter woodpeckers, lizards and even a mongoose or two, but no creature they meet is better received than eight-month-old Betty.

She gets a steady stream of compliments on guest comment cards, demonstrates a pleasant temperament and eagerly bonds with staff and guests.

She is a cross between Jamaica's local goat species and a British breed called the Anglo-Nubian, or simply the Nubian goat in many places, including the U.S. Nubian goats are noted for their large floppy ears. Because Betty is a mix of two goat species, her ears do not have the distinctive flop of a pure Nubian goat  but they perk up when guests and coworkers approach.

Despite her unbeatable work ethic, Betty enjoys her down time, and her hobbies include munching on dried corn to supplement her main diet of grass and bleating at passersby so they will stop and chat.

Although Betty currently is single, the resort plans to introduce a male goat to its groundskeeping crew soon.

Sunset at the Palms is noted for its romantic atmosphere and is a popular site for proposals, weddings, honeymoons and vow renewals, so who knows what may develop.

Like so much at this resort, nature may simply take its course.


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