"Kid"-napping ends when baby goat is reunited with its mother 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
Lexile

A baby pygmy goat that vanished from the Arizona State Fair and prompted a Twitter campaign for his safe return has come home to its mother.  He was surrounded by TV cameras and jubilant 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 huddled to watch mother and kid reunite below a "Welcome Home GusGus!" banner and "Welcome Home" balloons.
 
Fair livestock director Karen Searle said a man walking his dog along a canal in Phoenix found GusGus.  The man took him to a pet store, where an attentive worker reached out to the State Fair.
 
"They called the fair and sent pictures to our phone," Searle said. "We said 'It's got to be him' and it was him."
 
GusGus was hungry and tired but not injured.  Searle believes someone simply dumped him near the canal and that he couldn't have been out there long.
 
Finding him was especially urgent because he cannot survive without his mother's milk. He weighs less than 5 pounds and is still nursing.
 
Born last month, he also has not received all his shots. Fair workers say they wish they could meet the man who found GusGus, but he didn't even leave his name at the pet store.
 
"From the bottom of our hearts, we'd like to thank him," petting zoo manager Emilie Owen said. "He literally saved GusGus' life by finding him."
 
Families at the fair who had heard about the missing goat earlier in the day were also in a celebratory mood.
 
"It's good to know he's OK, he's so little," said Megan Zimbelman, who was there with her high school classmates.
 
Someone took tiny GusGus from his pen. The kidnapping sparked disbelief and legions of followers on social media who helped make the missing animal a hot topic. His disappearance sparked the hashtag, #FindGusGus.
 
"In over 30 years that we've been doing this, I have never had anything like this happen," Owen said.
 
The images of the mother, Custard, crying for her missing kid helped bring even more attention to the story. According to petting zoo workers, Custard was calling out for her baby.
 
Searle said there are employees in the petting zoo at all times. So someone would have noticed if GusGus had tried to run off. Because he is tame and accustomed to humans, he would not have cried out if someone picked him up.
 
"This was definitely an intentional theft. There's no way it was an accident," Searle said.
 
GusGus and Custard are part of a menagerie 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 surveillance cameras. Owen said it saddens her that now they have to change security around the petting zoo.
 
"Probably we'll have someone stationed at the exit gate from now on, checking people to make sure nobody is leaving that isn't supposed to be," Owen said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were officials sure that GusGus was taken?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (150)
  • lukem-orv
    11/13/2015 - 03:19 p.m.

    No, because there is many ways he could of been missing like running away or been distracted and many more ways he gone missing.

  • tashag-1-mci
    11/16/2015 - 11:25 a.m.

    The officials were sure that GusGus was taken because he wouldn't want to leave his mother and if he was escaping, they would have heard him trying to escape.

  • taylork-nar
    11/16/2015 - 11:44 a.m.

    They shouldn't surround it by cameras, that poor little thing. Sure he was missing then found but they should let it be comfortable with it mother and not having cameras shoved in its face....But wow! only 5 pounds?!?! awwwww how cute!

  • jacksonv-nar
    11/16/2015 - 11:44 a.m.

    It must of been really important to find the goat he still needed his mothers milk.

  • maxx-ver
    11/16/2015 - 12:13 p.m.

    This is a great article and if GusGus wanted to leave there would have been a sign

  • prestonj-nar
    11/16/2015 - 01:42 p.m.

    The officials knew that GusGus was taken. They knew this because he would not want to leave his mother. He is attached to his mother.

    • nataliac-nar
      11/30/2015 - 07:34 p.m.

      Being only a month old I do not think he was attached to his mother. More so the goat needs the mothers milk to live. If something/someone was supplying you something would you leave?

  • carterl-nar
    11/16/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    I am glad he got home safe.

  • valerieh-nar
    11/16/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    The person that took GugGus probably just took him for attention. Why else would somebody take a 5-month old baby goat? GusGus needs to be with his mother because he is still nursing. GusGus could have died if somebody didn't find him.

  • macil-nar
    11/16/2015 - 02:40 p.m.

    The officials were sure GusGus was taken because he wouldn't have wanted to leave his mother and they would of heard him trying to escape from his pen.

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