Elusive Creature Evades Capture

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For the past four days, an unidentified furry animal has stalked Payson’s streets. The beast made its first appearance Thursday afternoon in Rumsey Park. A day later it was spotted in the Bashas’ parking lot gazing at itself in a storefront window. Later, various residents reported seeing it in their yards and on Sunday it mocked police when it evaded capture in their own parking lot.

No, it isn’t Big Foot. Think smaller, much smaller and fuzzier — it is the high country bandit. An animal currently described by police as a goat, but previously reported by others as a baby llama and still others a baby lamb.

Payson Police Lt. Don Garvin and several officers have been hot on the trail of the creature ever since residents described seeing it. Garvin almost got his hands on the elusive creature Sunday when it showed up on his work’s doorstep.

When Garvin heard the brute was outside, he raced into the parking lot and chased it around a bit before it ran off into the woods.

“You can’t get close to it,” he said. “Even several residents have tried to catch it by baiting it with food.”

After watching the creature run laps around him, Garvin said he is positive it is a goat, but can’t officially say for certain.

Ironically, the animal control officer is on vacation, so police officers are left to their own devices. Garvin says he hasn’t given up hope of capturing the goat/llama/lamb and hopes someone comes forward as the owner. So far, local farms contacted say they haven’t lost an unidentifiable animal.

“If you are the owner, help assist us,” Garvin said.

Nearly 15 years ago when Garvin started with the department, he says he had a similar case of caged animal gone free. A pot belly pig was loose and he had to chase it down. Luckily, the pig was captured uninjured. Garvin only hopes this creature is caught before it becomes road kill.

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