Escaped Goat Spotted, PETA Sends Letter to University of Iowa

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — Officials with the University of Iowa are asking residents in North Liberty to be on the lookout for an escaped goat.

An example of the kind of goat missing from the University of Iowa, though not a picture of the actual goat. (courtesy University of Iowa)

The animal, which ran away during a transfer operation on Friday at University Research Park, had been spotted several times over the weekend.

The goat is described as a male, with cream and white coloring, weighs about 125 pounds and is approximately the size of a small deer.

University of Iowa Animal Resources officers have searched for the escaped goat every day since its release and had been spotted north of the research park and as far east as Dubuque Street near the Coralville Dam. Officials believe the goat may be near southeastern North Liberty, in the area of 12th Avenue. Most of the sightings have come in residential areas near the porches or back patios of homes.

In an update sent Tuesday, officials emphasized the goat posed no health risk, but asked anyone who sees it to contact UI Public Safety at 319-335-5022.

The animal-rights group PETA sent a letter to the University of Iowa regarding the missing goat, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA asked the goat transferred to an accredited sanctuary if it is safely captured.

"We urge the University of Iowa to do the right thing by retiring this goat, with his clear desire for freedom, to an accredited sanctuary and to fund his care," wrote Alka Chandna, a senior laboratory oversight specialist with the group to university president Bruce Harreld.

Chandna's complaint to the USDA claimed the goat escaped due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, specifically provisions requiring qualified personnel and a secure primary enclosure.

"[I]t would seem that [the goat] spent more than 96 hours exposed to Coralville’s freezing temperatures, alone, frightened, and confused; and very likely, hungry and thirsty," Chandna wrote, asking for a full USDA investigation and a civil penalty against the University of Iowa if it uncovers violations.