LONDON – The British regiment is saying goodbye to a valuable member of its forces -- 9-year-old mascot Billy the goat.
After seven years of U.K. Army service, Billy, whose full name is William Windsor, retired amid pomp and ceremony on Wednesday.
The nine-year-old will enjoy his retirement at a zoo outside of London. The battalion has had a goat in its ranks for more than 200 years.
The tradition dates to the U.S. Revolutionary War when a wild goat wandered onto a battlefield and ended up leading the regimental colors at the end of a battle. To this day, the regimental goat marches in front of the battalion in ceremonies.
Billy's replacement will be unveiled next month when a kid will be selected from a herd in north Wales.