Fans of a solitary nanny goat that's become a celebrity in central West Virginia are concerned about its apparent absence and are hoping someone can provide clues as to its whereabouts.
Anne Johnson, a writer and photographer who's become one of the goat's best known protectors and devotees, spent Friday afternoon roaming the summit of Powell Mountain but found no sign of it.
"It may be time to say goodbye," Johnson said sadly in a Facebook correspondence afterward.
Over the last decade-and-a-half, the she-goat has attracted the attention of motorists crossing Powell Mountain on the U.S. 19 expressway north of Summersville, West Virginia, where she grazed on cliffs.
Fearing that the goat might be hit by a vehicle, Johnson said she has been recently concerned about reports that motorists had been feeding the goat along the roadside.
She had even be told recently that the goat had been hit but had survived the collision.
"But I've heard that she had been hit and killed before, so I don't necessarily believe it," Johnson said.
On the other hand, the lifespan of a solitary nanny in the wild is likely no more than a decade, and the goat has been grazing the cliffs for about 16 years since she escaped from a farm at nearby Hookersville.
Johnson said she's marveled at the goat's resilience, surviving alone on the windswept hilltop.
"She has certainly been a survivor, and I think that we can all learn from that. We can all gather that strength that she always had when we are facing adversity," she said.
Johnson said she hopes anyone who might have seen the goat will reach out through its Facebook fan page, which could become a memorial page, should the goat have perished.
"When we know her time has come, there will be many people who will grieve that loss," she said.
"We need to provide a virtual space where people can talk about her and celebrate her life."
Johnson said she hopes the memory of the Powell Mountain Goat inspires people to contribute to the welfare of all animals.
"I also wanted to suggest that people donate to their local humane society or their favorite animal group in her honor."
Do you think you've seen the goat in recent days or know of its whereabouts otherwise? Please feel free to share this article, join the goat's fan page on Facebook, or leave a note at the bottom of this page.
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