The story of northwestern Ontario’s travelling goat is only just beginning.
We tuned into the story after a post to Kenora’s ever-popular Kenora Rant N Rave Facebook group, but Goaty’s story ran much deeper than we ever expected. Here’s what we know:
Jones Road resident Ivanna Strecker says she returned from a trip to the beach around 12 p.m. July 16 and had found a friendly goat at her home’s side door.
In an effort to find the goat’s owner, Strecker posted to the Rant N Rave group, which often acts as a community bulletin board, to see if anyone from the area was missing their goat.
While many people had suggestions for which local farm or resident with farm animals it may belong to, Strecker was coming up empty-handed.
That’s when she started to see strange comments pour in from the community.
Some residents said the goat may have been from Naotkamegwanning First Nation, about 90km away from Kenora. Others said they saw the goat eating grass in Kenora’s roundabout and downtown core (a common municipal cash-saving practice in St. Martin), while one woman questioned if it was the same goat that had just got kicked out of a local Pow Wow.
Wait. Kicked out of a Pow Wow?
Damion Green’s Facebook post from June 12 confirmed it. Goaty had been personally escorted away from Naotkamegwanning’s annual summer Pow Wow earlier that day.
It’s currently unknown what Goaty did to get kicked out of the community or where he was taken. We’re still waiting to hear back from Damion’s contact. But the post confirms that Goaty has likely been on the loose for at least five weeks now, between June 12 and July 16.
Within those 34 days, Goaty’s whereabouts are unknown. Unfortunately, at least for now, that mystery continues.
But with all of this new information in-hand, Strecker theorized someone may have brought the goat to Jones Road to find its owner, but later gave up and left him on her property which has a large fenced-in area.
That’s when she called Amy Mosionier of Herbacz Farms for help. Mosionier says she was happy to take Goaty in with her animals while she, Strecker and the community worked to find its owner.
As the owner of multiple horses, Mosionier had many of the supplies that she needed for Goaty and was knowledgeable on the animals’ needs. She noted he is an extremely friendly goat, her kids called him ‘Goaty’ (as did our newsroom), and while most goats are de-horned in their youth, Goaty still has his.
She adds she had seen a Facebook Marketplace post from the Fort Frances area of someone giving away a goat that she says looked identical to Goaty, but the listing had since been removed. She theorized Goaty may have been dropped off and left somewhere near the Naotkamegwanning area.
But here’s where the story gets murky.
Mosionier says her husband was out with the horses and Goaty one morning when political candidate in the recent provincial election for the New Blue Party, Kelvin Boucher-Chicago, pulled up beside them.
Mosionier alleges that Boucher-Chicago indicated that the goat was his, so her husband let him take it.
But she says she later learned the goat was in fact not Boucher-Chicago’s, and explained she was quite upset as she was looking forward to taking care of the animal in the meantime.
So, we called Kelvin. He explained that he had seen the goat on the side of the road in the Kenora area after seeing the original Facebook post, and he and his daughter decided to take Goaty in and take care of it for the day as they tried to find his owner.
While Boucher-Chicago and his daughter also struggled to find Goaty’s true owner, he says he did find a resident in the Lac Lu area near Olson Road that agreed to take Goaty in for good, and that’s where he’s been since Sunday.
Mosionier says she now plans to get in touch with the currently unknown Lac Lu resident to make sure Goaty is safe. If you have more information on this person, you’re asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of note, in this reporter’s opinion after speaking to all parties involved, Goaty’s ‘goatnapping’ was likely a simple misunderstanding between the two parties, and we’re glad to see Goaty safe in a new home.
For now, that’s the end of Goaty’s odyssey between Fort Frances, Naotkamegwanning First Nation and Kenora. Only he knows what really happened between those 34 days across 215 kilometres of northwestern Ontario.
Update as of July 22: We finally tracked him down, and can now confirm 'Goaty' is safe and sound in his new Lac Lu home.