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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
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Decatur's on-the-run goat makes a quick getaway after escaping a fenced-in backyard.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Decatur's on-the-run goat makes a quick getaway after escaping a fenced-in backyard.

NEWSPAPER IN EDUCATION
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Which way did she go?
Legend grows as goat eludes
animal control, police

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

A sewer worker said he thought a neighborhood woman was crazy when she told him to be on the lookout for a goat Thursday.

"Sure enough, the next thing I knew, officers were coming down the street on motorcycles," said Tommy Alston.

Alston, who is from Orlando, Fla., had not yet heard about Baasheba, the black nanny goat that has popped up all over Southeast Decatur over the past two weeks. A Decatur Daily reader suggested the goat's name.

Alston soon got to watch firsthand as Baasheba escaped police and animal control officers yet again.

To catch a 'perpetrator'

Radio traffic indicated that police chased Baasheba, referred to in the transmission only as "the perpetrator," behind a residence in the 1500 block of Apache Lane Southeast shortly after 1 p.m.

By the time a reporter arrived, the goat had apparently slipped through a gap in the fence and holed up in some bushes in a neighboring backyard in the 1500 block of Fairway Drive.

The goat darted from the bushes into a narrow space behind a shed when officers approached from Fairway Drive. When an officer stepped up to block her exit, she turned and darted back the other way, slipping past a would-be captor bringing up the rear.

The goat head-butted a closed gate, knocking it open, to escape the yard.

It headed across Fairview Drive, where employees of Reynolds Inliner had closed part of the road to work on a pipeline.

Alston said he saw the goat fly past with an animal control officer in pursuit.

"They went in there to try to corner the goat, and that didn't work," Alston said. "The goat came out and ran across the street. It had a good 10 or 20 yards on him. The guy just threw his net (in frustration)."

The goat disappeared around the corner of a house a short way down the block, Alston said.

"She was on two wheels when she hit the corner. It was like she knew where she was going. The goat was like, 'Catch me if you can,' " Alston said. "It was ridiculously funny. The policeman was laughing harder than I was."

Animal control officers declined to comment about Thursday's goat pursuit. A police spokesman did the same, but officers at the scene couldn't help but chuckle.

The lady who Alston spoke with, Virginia Hughes, didn't realize Baasheba had returned to the area since her run-in with the goat Sunday.

"She was under the window and she scared the heck out of me!" Hughes said. "I was driving up from church and saw what I thought was a black plastic bag. I thought somebody had left it out and it had blown up into my yard. Then I saw those ears and thought, that's the goat I read about!"

Hughes drove to a filling station to call police.

"Those nice young men there must have thought, this poor old lady, she's hallucinating," Hughes said.

Hughes said she was glad her neighbors snapped photos of the goat to prove its existence.

"I was thinking, if I tell anybody about this, they'll think I've lost my marbles," Hughes said.

Hughes said that while she was shy about approaching the goat, she is one of Baasheba's biggest fans.

"That is a very smart goat. She has done very well for herself," she said, referring to the clever goat's repeated escapes from anyone and everyone who tries to catch her.

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