Mountain goat stuck under Kansas City bridge survives rocky rescue

Apr 9, 2024, 7:27 AM

An escaped mountain goat that somehow got stuck under a Kansas City bridge has survived a rocky rescue effort and now may be reunited with the owners who suspect he was stolen from their farm two months ago.

“It’s the story that captured the hearts of Kansas City,” said Tori Fugate, of the KC Pet Project, a nonprofit that handles animal control for the city and operates shelters. “Forget a solar eclipse. We were on goat watch.”

After Monday’s eclipse, people spotted the animal, believed to be a missing goat named Chug, hopping around on the pillars that support the bridge, high above the ground below.

Hoping to guide it to safety, a driver managed to get a rope around the goat’s neck, but that only added to the danger, said Fugate. When firefighters tried to rappel over the side of the bridge to capture the goat, he spooked and tried to jump to the next platform. But his hooves slipped and the rope caught, causing the goat to hang from his neck, not moving.

Firefighters managed to undo a snag in the rope, creating slack in the line. The goat then fell as much as 15 feet (4.5 meters) to the ground, landing in a spot where crews had added padding in an attempt to soften the impact, Fugate said.

A waiting veterinarian sedated the goat and crews carried him in a sling to the top of a rocky hill, where firefighters gave him oxygen. Then he perked up and was taken for X-rays, Fugate said.

“He miraculously has no broken bones,” Fugate said. The goat had been clambering along bridge supports that are as much as 80 feet (24 meters) above the ground, a fall he wouldn’t have survived, she said.

She said this was just the latest part of the goat’s adventure. He entered the shelter as a stray on March 13, was dubbed Jeffrey and was adopted later that month. But he immediately jumped the fence at his new home, she said.

“Thanks to his media fame, yesterday we had somebody reach out and they said that he is very similar to their goat that went missing back in February,” she said.

The family lives two hours away and plans to came to come to the shelter Wednesday to confirm he is their stolen goat, named Chug. If he is, they plan to bring him home with them, and the goat’s adoptive owners say that is OK with them.

“He seems to be very particular about his living situation,” Fugate said.

United States News

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Mountain goat stuck under Kansas City bridge survives rocky rescue