Escaped Goat Went ‘Homeward Bound’ as It Goes on the Run for Days

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by: Wayne Hutchinson/Farm Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Now this story sounds like a Disney movie waiting to happen. A goat escaped in Iowa and in a Homeward Bound fashion, roamed for miles.

This isn’t just any old farm goat either. This goat is a working goat. In the city of Clive, Iowa, there is a herd of roughly 15 goats the city owns. Those animals are put to work out in the Clive Greenbelt. An area of green space that is vital to the community.

Clive Leisure Services Director Richard Brown talked about the goats and their use. “The Clive Greenbelt is something that helps really enhance the quality of life here and improve the water quality, so we want to be good stewards of that greenbelt. And the goats are really a huge tool to help do that.”

While the spring and summer are spent eating out those unwanted weeds and invasives, the goats are just hanging outside of City Hall otherwise. While the animals were being loaded up recently, Steve decided to make a break for it. “He was one of the last two to be loaded,” Brown said about the wayward buck. “And we think someone with a dog spooked him and [he] ran off into the greenbelt. We had a tough time locating him for a few days.

Steve didn’t go too far from home. Throughout Clive, residents reported seeing the goat. However, no one could catch him. As a goat owner myself, this story feels like it could have been solved with a bucket of grain. But, I also know how stubborn these animals can be. The good news is that Steve is rather vain. Upon seeing his own reflection in a window at a car dealership and being treated to a relish tray, he stayed still long enough to be caught.

Goats Helping to Prevent Future Wildfires on West Coast

In recent years, fires in the west of the United States have done some serious damage. The stories are numerous just in the last few years alone. However, goats are being put to work out in California to help stop future fires. There is a lot of brush and growth that becomes highly flammable if it isn’t dealt with.

That’s where Environmental Land Management comes in. The city of Anaheim has teamed up with them to put about 400 goats to work in Deer Canyon Park. There the goats eat dried grass as well as invasive species that make fire season more dangerous.

It isn’t just governments that have looked to this solution. The company claims that they have had up to 100 calls a month from private owners as well. Commercial goat herds might be the future of environmental conservation and protection.