RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) — First there was Gone Girl. Now there’s Gone Goat.
The search for a rodeo goat that has been missing for more than a week has captivated residents of a rural South Texas county as they use horses, ATVs and even plan to use a helicopter to find the missing animal.
Local businesses donated nearly 90 prizes and gifts worth more than $5,000, including beef brisket, murals and parlor service, as a reward for the person who finds the goat.
“It just got bigger than we ever dreamed it would be. Our county is a very small county, approximately 20,000 people and a primarily farming, farming and ranching community. And we really are one big family…So we’re so glad everyone wants our goat back,” said Alison Savage, president of the Willacy County Livestock Show and Fair.
Residents, including families, have been roaming the cotton and sugar cane fields since the goat escaped from a paddock in the county rodeo arena near Raymondville on July 15 following a youth rodeo. On Sunday, possible goat tracks were spotted in a cotton field near Lyford, south of Raymondville.
When the goat first disappeared, it had no name. But after a poll on the cattle show’s Facebook page, the goat was named Willy, short for Willacy County, Savage said. Although the goat has a name, Savage said officials don’t know if Willy was a boy or a girl.
The Livestock Show posts regular updates on its Facebook page. The research has also been a boon to the Livestock Show, as residents and businesses have donated hundreds of dollars to make improvements to the arena and other facilities for the nonprofit organization.
“He is hiding from us somewhere. But we are getting closer. We’ll find it,” Savage said.