WEST FORK, Ark. — Goats were spotted on the railing underneath a bridge near West Fork on Interstate-49.
After failed attempts to lure them to safety and considering the risk to human lives involved with the remaining rescue options, the difficult decision to humanely put the goats down was made, according to Arkansas Game and Fish (AGF) Commission spokesman, Keith Stephens.
Amy Camp Kesner says her brother saw them on his way to work in Northwest Arkansas on Monday (Sept. 21) morning and snapped this photo.
Another driver posted to Facebook saying he saw these goats under the bridge on Friday (Sept. 18) night.
An AGF officer spotted the goats as he was driving by on Monday (Sept. 21).
Stephens said AGF did not receive any calls regarding the goats prior to the AGF officer spotting them.
According to Stephens, the AGF officer learned that people had been getting out of cars and running across lanes on I-49 to take pictures of the goats.
The AGF officer made contact with the owner and soon began an attempt to lure the goats toward them using a can of corn, but according to Stephens, the effort caused the goats to become more nervous, and they began walking backward in the wrong direction, so they stopped, fearing the goats would fall.
After failing to get the goats down, the decision was made by the officer to humanely put the goats down, at the request of the owners, according to Stephens.
Stephens said the decision to put the goats down was not an easy one to make for the AGF officer or for the owner.
This decision was made to avoid human injury. Stephens said public safety always has to be the top priority, as he explained why a rescue was not a feasible option.
He said the goats could have fallen onto the road below the bridge and landed on a vehicle driving by, spectators stopping to take pictures were putting themselves and drivers on I-49 at risk, remaining options for a rescue would put human lives at risk due to the location, and shutting down I-49 for a rescue would put people's lives in danger, as emergency vehicles would be stalled.
The goats fell to the embankment below and were taken by the owners to be buried.