The group of goats were asked to perform the test after one month, then once more after 10 months. On both occasions, they remembered the challenge well enough to solve it again in a matter of minutes.
"Our results challenge the common misconception that goats aren't intelligent animals - they have the ability to learn complex tasks and remember them for a long time," says study co-author Alan McElligott.
"This could explain why they are so successful in colonizing new environments, though we would need to perform a similar study with wild goats to be sure."
While this may be one the first formal studies on the intelligence of goats, people who keep the animals have already taken note that the they're are no dullards. A quick search for "smart goat" on YouTube reveals dozens of videos of goats exhibiting quite remarkable problem-solving skills.
Here, a goat named Randy outsmarts the sliding lock on a barn door: