Will the Christmas Goat Survive?

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A town north of Stockholm is hoping this year to protect its annual giant Christmas goat from vandals.

Every year the town of Gävle sets up a 13 meter tall version of the traditional straw Yule goat. And almost every year the goat has been destroyed, usually by fire, but once run over by a car, and another year having its legs cut off.

But for the 40th anniversary of the custom Sunday, local officials had this year’s goat doused in fire-resistant chemicals usually used on airplanes.

In the past, resourceful vandals have proved ingenious in outwitting guards and security cameras. Last year two vandals disguised themselves as Santa Claus and a gingerbread man and ignited the goat by firing burning arrows at it.