Maya Angelou once famously answered the question, “Why does the caged bird sing?” but in 2016 we have an update: Why does the caged goat run? Well, although he’s been caught, we may never know.
William the Goat, as he is now known, was interred at one of the University of Iowa’s research facilities until he rethought his career in science and cast off the covalent bonds of servitude. According to the Iowa City Press Citizen, William was being transported to the research park on U of I’s campus January 29 when he channeled his inner Steve McQueen and carried out a daring daytime escape. Campus officials searched for William but came up empty-handed, prompting them to release a statement describing the goat as “in excellent health” and assuring he “poses no public health risk.” By late Friday morning witnesses had seen the fugitive billy at a golf course almost three miles away from where he escaped.
For William however, freedom was not enough—he followed in the footsteps of escaped goats past and taunted searchers from his very own (and surprisingly popular) Twitter account:
Are there any towns in eastern Iowa willing to grant amnesty to a cold and hungry goat?
— UofI Goat (@UofIGoat) February 2, 2016
Psych! Still on the lam. Can't catch me, @CoralvillePD.
— UofI Goat (@UofIGoat) February 4, 2016
While it may all sound like fun and games, some thought otherwise. PETA sent a letter to U of I demanding the goat be sent to a sanctuary if found, while at the same time calling on the USDA for an investigation into the circumstances of the disappearance. The organization says it was worried about William’s welfare as he tried to find food and navigate unfamiliar environments. They may have had a point, however, as temperatures in Iowa City hovered around freezing and the urban landscape posed a threat to the disgruntled goat.
Luckily for everyone except our four-legged fugitive, Mr. the Goat was recovered by U of I safety officers after 10 days and returned to his old home. His Twitter following must have been worth something, however, because a Californian animal sanctuary offered to take him in. The goat declined the offer however, and is reportedly already planning his next daring escape.