GusGus, right, sits next to his mother, Custard, after they were reunited at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. The baby pygmy goat that vanished from the fair came home to his mother surrounded by TV cameras and jubilant fairgoers. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)
"Kid"-napping ends when baby goat is reunited with its mother
November 13, 2015
A baby pygmy goat went missing from the Arizona State Fair. That prompted a Twitter campaign for his safe return. Now he has come home. He is back with his mother. The goat was welcome home with TV cameras and happy fairgoers.
Dozens of employees and visitors burst into applause Nov. 5 as GusGus was gently placed in the pen where he was last seen. Several people crowded to watch mother and kid brought back together. They stood below a "Welcome Home GusGus!" banner and "Welcome Home" balloons.
Karen Searle is the fair livestock director. She said a man walking his dog along a canal in Phoenix found GusGus. The man took him to a pet store. A helpful worker reached out to the State Fair.
"They called the fair and sent pictures to our phone," Searle said. "We said 'It has got to be him.' And it was him."
GusGus was hungry and tired. But he was not hurt. Searle thinks someone simply left him near the canal. She does not think he was out there long.
Finding him was very urgent. He would not survive without his mother's milk. The miniature goat weighs less than 5 pounds. The goat is still nursing.
GusGus was born last month. He has not gotten all his shots yet. Fair workers say they wish they could meet the man who found GusGus. But he did not leave his name at the pet store.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank him," petting zoo manager Emilie Owen said. "He literally saved GusGus' life by finding him."
Families at the fair heard about the missing goat. They were also in a festive mood.
"It is good to know he's OK. He is so little," said Megan Zimbelman. She was there with her high school classmates.
Someone took tiny GusGus from his pen. The kidnapping sparked disbelief and a lot of followers on social media. They helped make the missing animal a hot topic. His disappearance sparked the hashtag, #FindGusGus.
"In over 30 years that we have been doing this, I have never had anything like this happen," Owen said.
There were images of the mother, Custard, crying for her missing kid. They helped bring even more attention to the story. Petting zoo workers said Custard was calling out for her baby.
Searle said there are employees in the petting zoo at all times. Someone would have seen if GusGus had tried to run off. He is tame and used to humans. Because of that he would not have cried out if someone picked him up.
"This was definitely an intentional theft. There is no way it was an accident," Searle said.
GusGus and Custard are part of a zoo of animals. They are provided by the Oregon-based Great American Animal Entertainment Company. It brings petting zoos to events around the country. The makeshift barn that houses the petting zoo at the Arizona State Fair has no cameras. Owen said it saddens her that now they have to change security around the petting zoo.
"Probably we will have someone stationed at the exit gate from now on."
Assigned 105 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were officials sure that GusGus was taken?
Write your answers in the comments section below