MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — The goats at Goat Island in Murrells Inlet will not be back, much to the dismay of a tourist that spoke with News13’s Claire Purnell.

News13 reported in February that the goats would not return after the island has dealt with erosion and was damaged further by Hurricane Ian.

The storm left Drunken Jack’s, a seafood restaurant behind Goat Island, underwater last September.

Al Hitchcock, one of the owners of Drunken Jacks, has been bringing the goats to the island since the early 1980s.

“The island looks awfully empty over there now,” Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said Hurricane Ian was not expected to hit the Grand Strand, but when he saw how it impacted Florida, he took precautions.

“We decided just to be safe to take our goats, our pets, and bring them to safety,” he said.

Brian Lindsey, a tourist visiting from Rhode Island, expressed his disappointment in the goats not coming back.

“I came to visit my nephew. My nephew’s told me about these goats for years now . . . yeah, so extremely disappointed,” he said. “You know, the hurricane, I understand the concern for the goats.”

“Like I said, they were our pets, we didn’t want anything to happen to them so we chose not to put them back this year for their safety,” Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said they are still looking into rebuilding the island, but as of now those efforts are still in the planning stages.

If everything goes well, the goats might be able to return.