Goat Escapes Trip to Slaughterhouse, Climbs Bridge to Freedom
This 3.5 mile-long steel bridge opened in 1932 and is described as having a “functionally obsolete design.” The Skyway contains four narrow lanes separated only by a low concrete divider; there is no shoulder. Vehicles going east and west whiz past each other at speeds of around 70 mph. Entrance/exit ramps give a driver precious little space, or time, to merge into the left lane.
With the goat jumping back and forth over the divider, four cars got into a mild accident (no injuries reported) and traffic was tied up for quite a while. Officers from Jersey City Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit closed the Skyway in both directions. They were able to surround the goat after she had spent more than an hour “ambl[ing] back and forth between the Skyway ramps for Broadway and Tonnelle Avenue,” says NJ.com.
The goat (named “Sky” by the police) most likely escaped from a truck headed for a slaughterhouse as she had a U.S. Department of Agriculture tag in her ear. There is indeed a slaughterhouse in the vicinity of the Skyway, American Halal Meats, on Raymond Boulevard in Newark (and there is an exit ramp onto Raymond Boulevard). The company slaughters about 150 goats a day, but an employee said that they were not missing any goats and that he “was relieved that this goat was not hurt.”
As Stan Eason, a spokesman for Jersey City, said to Fox News, “If it can survive running around the Pulaski Skyway for two hours, and then winds up in a slaughterhouse, it’s kind of sad. But if someone claims her, she is private property, so there’s not much we can do.”
After getting the goat off the Skyway, the Jersey City police took her to the Liberty Humane Society facility in Jersey City. From there, Sky was taken to a rescue farm in Wantage in rural Sussex County. “Even though she was skittish at first, she did great on the farm. When I got her there they have some sheep and a few horses, but she ran right into a stall with one of their older horses named Woody,” as Jersey City police Lt. Kelly Chesler said in NJ.com.
I drive the Skyway frequently, though I wasn’t there on Tuesday morning. “Skyway” is an apt name for this very long bridge which, if you’re driving east, offers a sweeping panorama of Manhattan. Leaping over the chipped concrete divider 135 feet up in the air, amid speeding cars and harried drivers, the goat made herself (relatively) easy to locate by the police and now can look forward to a long life amid grass and other animals.
Photo from Thinkstock