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Mo. firefighters are called to rescue goat trapped on bridge

Kansas City firefighters faced a mountain goat in a precarious spot

By Noelle Alviz-Gransee
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after a harrowing rescue attempt, a mountain goat extricated from a precarious perch under a Kansas City bridge Monday evening is alive and well, KC Pet Project said.

Two-year-old Jeffrey the goat was picked up by animal control a little over two weeks ago near Independence Avenue and brought to KC Pet Project. He was adopted soon after, but immediately escaped his new home on March 26.

That was until an eclipse watcher spotted him under the bridge at 63rd and Lewis Road near Swope Park Monday afternoon.

Kansas City first responders were called and blocked off a portion of the road to conduct the rescue.

Tori Fugate, chief communications officer with KC Pet Project, said a family that lives several hours away has since come forward believing Jeffrey to be their missing goat Chug, one of many goats they believe was stolen from their property in mid-February.

A near-fatal rescue attempt

Fugate arrived around 5 p.m. Monday and said a bystander who was formerly an animal control officer had tied a rope around the goat’s neck in order to help guide it to safety.

But, Fugate said, Jeffrey was soon suspended by the rope in mid-air.

“I don’t know why they were trying to even do the slip lead in the first place,” Fugate said. “I think they were thinking maybe ‘if I slip lead them then I can pull him up,’ but that’s not at all like how usually they would handle a situation like that.“

Rather, she said, the standard method is to push the mountain goat to move along on his own because he was not in a safe location.

At one point — while still suspended — Jeffrey stopped moving and it was assumed he had died. A minute later, he began to buck again and rescuers cut the rope. A veterinarian sedated him, and he was taken to the KC Pet Project for overnight care.

“Our officers have to deal with all sorts of kind of rescue things like this,” Fugate said. “And oftentimes we’ll partner with other like agencies to help with like deer that are in like big wells and things like that and where they have the capability to tranquilizers and things like that. This was a delicate situation.”

After receiving an X-ray, it was determined Jeffrey suffered no broken bones. On Tuesday, KC Pet Project posted a photo of him on Facebook, alive and well.

“He’s just like, just basking in the sunshine today. So sweet, happy, happy as can be,” Fugate said. “He’s walking fine, still a little shaky, which is pretty common coming off of sedation.”

The possible goat owners who recognized Jeffrey will examine him on Wednesday. Fugate said that the Kansas City owners agreed to return him if he is in fact Chug.

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