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Nanny goat still on lam, becoming a city legend

By Holly Hollman
and Seth Burkett

hhollman@decaturdaily.com · 340-2445

Nanny is reaching legendary status since she has been on the lam.

Perhaps Nanny is good at eluding capture because she runs on four legs.

That’s right. She’s a nanny goat who has avoided capture since Sept. 16, when Decatur police tried to Taser her.

Since then, Nanny — if she’s become a legend, she needs a name — has abandoned her hideout, surprised residents, chomped on flora, startled pets and learned to look both ways when crossing the street.

Decatur police started receiving calls about Nanny on Sept. 16, after Southeast residents spotted her throughout the day and saw her dart into traffic.

But Nanny has been roaming the River City for longer than that, according to a worker at Professional Compressed Air Services on 12th Avenue Northwest.

Jaime Latham e-mailed The Daily and said Nanny had a hideout at the shop up until her brush with the law.

“One day, about three months ago, the goat walked into our building through the high bay door and scared one of the ladies that I work with,” Latham said.

“At first, she thought it was a Doberman, but then looked at it, and said it was a goat. We looked for it and found it had been bedding down under a lean-to shed behind our building. We decided to let her have free roam. She is pretty much uncatchable.”

Latham said Nanny crossed 12th Avenue every day to go to graze at the city cemetery and drink at the river.

“This goat got so used to making these travels that it would actually stop and look both ways before crossing 12th Avenue,” Latham said. “People would see her out in the graveyard and stop and just stare.”

The last time Latham saw her was Sept. 14.

“We assumed that the goat may have gotten away from someone, since she still had a sale tag on her back left side,” Latham said.

“It’s amazing that an animal like that has made it in the city this long without being hit or something. About a month ago, she was chasing a young coyote through the graveyard. It was truly the strangest thing we had ever seen.”

No one seems to know where the goat came from or to whom it belongs. Decatur police said they have not received reports of a missing, lost or stolen goat.

Repeated sightings

There have been repeated sightings since Nanny eluded police. Decatur High School Principal Mike Ward said he saw Nanny on Pennylane Southeast near Stratford Road at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“My son and I were driving down Pennylane and he yelled, ‘Stop, Dad! There’s a goat in that yard!’ ” Ward said.

He said he hadn’t heard about the elusive goat at the time and didn’t believe it at first.

“I backed up and, sure enough, there was a goat eating some plants planted around a mailbox. Then it started walking around the yard eating grass,” Ward said.

“There was a cat sort of stalking up to it, and we got tickled,” he said. “It got kind of close to it, and the cat just stopped. My son said, ‘Dad, I don’t think the cat knows what it is.’ I just hope they catch it before it comes through our school. You know we had that deer run through there last year.”

Ward was referring to a deer that ran through a glass window in a school hallway. Game officers later shot and killed the badly injured animal.

Nanny apparently was alive and well as of last report.

A reader e-mailed The Daily and said Nanny was at Walter Jackson Elementary on Wednesday evening and then bedded down on Park Street.

An unnamed caller left a message at The Daily that said Nanny was at Delano Park on Friday about 8 p.m. The caller’s daughter was walking a dog, and the dog tried to chase Nanny. She ran behind a house near the park.

Boss Hill, 84, of Elkmont, who has served goat stew for more than 25 years at his annual Boss Hill Stew in Limestone County, said the best way to catch Nanny would be with crackers.

“You can attract the goat with crackers, but then you’ve got to hem her up in a corner,” Hill said. “You have to corner ’em good because a goat will almost climb a fence.”

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