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A goat is missing in the Rio Grande Valley. Local businesses have offered up huge rewards.

 "Rodeo Goat" has been on the loose for at least a week.
Via Willacy Co. Livestock Show and Fair on Facebook
"Rodeo Goat" has been on the loose for at least a week.

Somewhere in the Rio Grande Valley, there’s a goat wandering where he ought not to be.

According to the Willacy County Livestock Show and Fair, a beloved goat, affectionately dubbed “Rodeo Goat,” has been loose for at least a week. The situation has inspired the folks at the stock show and members of the local business community to issue rewards for its safe return.

Michael Rodriguez, digital content editor for MyRGV.com, said the goat was on loan from a local rancher during a recent competition.

“Once the competition ended and the goats were being rounded up, they noticed, around 1:30 in the morning, that one of them was missing,” Rodriguez said. “It was being held in this oversize pen that’s usually used for cattle, actually. So they’re not quite sure how it escaped, other than the fact that maybe it just squeezed out somehow and has been on the loose ever since.”

Rodriguez said it’s a little hard to say why this story has inspired so much local interest, especially considering the fact that the area has seen loose bobcats and roaming alligators.

“Why this particular instance has captured the attention of people around here is for anyone’s guess, other than the fact that maybe it’s just very hot and people want something to have a little fun,” he said. “I think that’s why the business community got involved, because they noticed people were posting memes and sort of trolling — but playfully. The livestock show folks and dozens of businesses have donated thousands of dollars in rewards, from brisket to beer, overnight stays at local hotels, and a car wash.”

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According to recent sightings, the goat has put up some decent mileage.

“Cameron County is a coastal community. Its neighboring county, Willacy County, where this occurred, it’s more of an agricultural community, and it’s about what you would expect: It’s a lot of open fields, and where this goat has been particularly seen has been in brush country,” he said. “Most recently it was seen near a cemetery. It crossed city lines as it was seen in another city. And it’s interesting as far as how many people are out there, I mean, not counting our reporters, there’s a lot of folks out there [looking for it].”

Rodriguez said he was interested in this story because he feels it represents a respite from the deluge of more serious news stories in the area recently.

“This was Friday when I heard about it. And I was just wrapping up the day when a member of our staff walked into my office just wanting to share a funny story. And I think they noticed I was not in a good mood and thought it’d make me laugh. And it did. The same reason why it resonated with me, I thought would resonate with other people,” he said. “We’ve had record heat. There’s stories obviously occurring throughout the state that deeply affect us as a border community as well. And I think there’s just general news fatigue, and it seemed like something that would give people a bit of a distraction, which I think they desperately need right now.”

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