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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
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A Southeast Decatur resident took these pictures of the nanny goat on Fairway Drive Southeast on Sunday. The elusive animal trotted off toward Apache Lane before  Decatur Animal Control could arrive.
Courtesy photo by Richard Grugel
A Southeast Decatur resident took these pictures of the nanny goat on Fairway Drive Southeast on Sunday. The elusive animal trotted off toward Apache Lane before Decatur Animal Control could arrive.

River City 'Loch Ness monster' of Decatur?
Elusive Decatur goat photographed, but still on the loose

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

Decatur's citizens can't get enough goat.

"It's like she's an urban legend now," Cynthia Grugel said of the goat that has eluded police capture since Sept. 16. "She's like the Loch Ness Monster, but Decatur style."

Grugel is one of many who has called and e-mailed The Daily about goat sightings, but only Grugel brought pictures of the elusive goat.

"I've been reading about that goat, and the stories were so funny, then wouldn't you know, she shows up in our neighborhood," Grugel said.

Grugel lives on Fairway Drive Southeast across from Decatur Country Club.

She said her neighbor, Virginia Hughes, returned home from morning church services Sunday and saw what she thought was a black trash bag beside her house.

Only this trash bag had ears.

Grugel, and her husband, Richard, realized something was up when they looked out their window and saw a police car in Hughes' driveway.

"The goat was resting in her yard. I said, 'We've got to get a picture of this,' " Cynthia Grugel said. "She didn't seem dangerous. She was docile but skittish. We tried to corner her, but she trotted off before animal control got there."

A Daily reporter named the goat Nanny because police believe she is a nanny goat, but a reader submitted a much better name, BaaSheba.

Grugel said BaaSheba ran toward Apache Lane after fleeing Hughes' driveway.

Perhaps BaaSheba found better grazing at the country club.

Goat stew in Limestone

"I can't believe some hunter hasn't gotten her yet," Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said. "I wouldn't mind catching her. We're having a goat stew next Thursday."

Decatur Animal Control Officer Mindy Gilbert said animal control officers have spotted BaaSheba several times, but have not captured her.

"It's not going to be something you can run down and throw a noose around," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said it would probably require either pursuing the goat with many people or artfully luring the goat into an enclosure to catch it.

Even that might not do the trick.

"Goats can do weird climbing things," she said. "I've seen them up on sheds and houses and stuff. They can climb up onto areas you wouldn't think they could."

Earlier this month, after receiving calls from Southeast residents about the goat, Decatur police cornered her and tried to use a Taser, but she escaped.

Lt. Frank DeButy said officers wouldn't shoot and kill the goat just to capture her.

"We do not shoot animals simply to be shooting them unless they present a clear and present danger to a citizen," he said.

And that's a good thing because it appears that BaaSheba has a secret.

Likes flowers

Thanks to our readers, we already knew she had abandoned her hideout, a lean-to shed behind Professional Compressed Air Services on 12th Avenue Northwest.

We knew she looks both ways when crossing the street, and she likes grazing in cemeteries and chomping people's flowers.

We didn't know she might be pregnant or already a mama.

"It seemed like she needed to be milked," Cynthia Grugel said. "I don't know a lot about goats, but that's how she looked, like she might be expecting."

Just what Decatur needs, a goat gang on the loose.

Daily reporter Seth Burkett contributed to this report.

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