By STEPHEN QUINN, ABC 33/40
PELHAM, Ala. (WBMA) - A viral video of a goat at the Alabama State Fair in Pelham prompted an allegation of animal abuse and raised questions by local police. The organizers of the zoo confirmed the goat in the cell phone video did die later over the weekend but argue the video doesn't tell the whole story.
Peyton Rose said she knew something wasn't right when she first saw the goat on Saturday night. She said the animal was limp and wasn't moving. When she returned hours later, the goat was in the exact same spot.
"My stomach sunk. I immediately knew that something wasn't right and the goat was, you know, dead."
The fair's organizer, Mark Lovell, said the goat was still alive when Rose saw it but confirmed it died later that night. Lovell said the goat was injured earlier in the week when a camel in the pin accidentally fell on it. He said the staff at Party Animals, the Tennessee-based company that operates the petting zoo, chose to keep the goat with the other animals while it recovered.
"What she saw was an animal that was injured and that was trying to recoup and she (the owner) was leaving it along, letting it rest."
Rose said she didn't believe the explanation, "If you're that injured that the goat died, I mean, why would they continue to let it be in the petting zoo, in pain, dying? That's even worse to me."
Lovell said he has used Party Animals at his fairs for more than a decade and plans to continue working with the company. He said the animals were healthy and well treated. He urged skeptics to come to the fair to see for themselves.
"If anyone wants to come and look at these animals, I'll bet my very last dollar that every one of these animals are healthy and very well taken care of."
The Alabama State Fair will continue at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater through Sunday, Oct. 7.