Escaped mountain goat survives rescue attempt, after dangling by rope under KC bridge

A mountain goat stuck under a Kansas City bridge survived an ill-advised rescue attempt on Monday and is resting comfortably.

The Kansas City Fire Department was called to the bridge at E. 63rd Street and Lewis Road near Swope Park Monday afternoon after someone reported a goat being stuck under the bridge. First responders blocked off a portion of the road to conduct the rescue.

The goat was underneath the bridge, hopping around the support pillars. Tori Fugate, Chief Communications Officer with the KC Pet Project, arrived around 5 p.m. and said a bystander who was formerly an animal control officer tied a rope around the goat’s neck in order to help guide it to safety.

But, Fugate said, the goat was soon suspended by the rope in mid-air.

Mountain goat suspended under the bridge before he was cut off and brought to KC Pet Project.
Mountain goat suspended under the bridge before he was cut off and brought to KC Pet Project.

“I don’t know why they were trying to even do the slip lead in the first place,” Fugate said. “I think they were thinking maybe ‘if I slip lead them then I can pull him up,’ but that’s not at all like how usually they would handle a situation like that. “

Rather, she said, the standard method is to push the mountain goat tomove along on his own because he was not in a safe location.

At one point — while still suspended — the goat stopped moving and it was assumed he had died. A minute later, he began to buck again and rescuers cut the rope. A veterinarian at the bottom sedated him, and he was taken to the KC Pet Project for overnight care.

“Our officers have to deal with all sorts of kind of rescue things like this,” Fugate said. “And oftentimes we’ll partner with other like agencies to help with like deer that are in like big wells and things like that and where they have the capability to tranquilizers and things like that. This was a delicate situation.”

The mountain goat had been adopted recently and had escaped in the nearby area, she said. After receiving an X-ray, it appears he suffered no broken bones.

“While he is not out of the woods yet, he appears to be stable and we are cautiously optimistic that he’ll recover. Our team has been giving him fluids and have set him up to rest overnight,” Fugate said in an email.