Arizona may not be known for having a world-class education system or a good relationship with the federal government — hell, even our most famous law enforcement agent, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is on trial for contempt.
But after the drama of last week’s State Fair goat disappearance went viral, we thought it was time to add “co-existing with other animals” to the list. Here are our favorite Arizona animal stories, guaranteed to make you shake your head or wince in embarrassment.
10. “You caught me, Alan. I tried to fuck your sheep.”
Seriously, that’s what a Mesa fire chief, Leroy Johnson, said to his neighbor, Alan Goats (we swear that’s his real name), after he was caught with his pants around his ankles, about to “have a little lamb” in Alan’s barn.
9. Remember that time Arizona Game and Fish officials couldn’t tell the difference between kidney failure and dehydration and euthanized the state’s last living jaguar? LOLZ.
As New Times reporter James King suggested at the time: Perhaps Game and Fish should stick to working with fish.
8. What kind of Police K-9 Unit leader leaves his top dog in a police car and forgets about him for 13 hours?!?!
The kind that labor in Arizona, apparently. In 2012, a sleep-deprived sergeant with the Chandler PD, Thomas Lovejoy, killed his squad’s dog, Bandit, by forgetting to take him out of the car.
7. Sometimes a swarm of killer bees just needs to take down a human.
Especially if that human is a landscaper who happens to accidentally disturb a three-by-eight-foot hive. Can you really blame them?
6. From the files of "things Arizona is famous for" — you know, like its eco-conscious approach to plastic bags — we now can officially add "horse sex capital of the country."
Thanks, Michael Crawford.
5. So a rabid bobcat walks into a bar . . .
. . . and attacks two people. #ClassicArizona.
4. +1 for the animal kingdom.
The Arizona Department of Transportation captures a family of Sasquatches on video, but then, managing to elude us humans once again, the Sasquatches camouflage themselves by turning themselves into trees.
3. The world's most adorable baby goat, GusGus, goes missing from the Arizona State Fair.
Though fair officials say he was stolen — and later found wandering near a canal in Peoria — what if he simply was trying to escape a lifetime of petting zoo captivity by running away? (Dun, dun, dun.)
2. That time a woman in Arizona, Lana Hollingsworth, was mauled to death by a black bear in Pinetop while walking her dog on a June night in 2011.
“Generally bears don’t bother people, but they can,” Don Swann, a biologist at Saguaro National Park, told a Cronkite News reporter.
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1. In the ultimate cat-and-mouse game, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office chased a pair of nimble llamas through the quiet streets of Sun City while the world followed the action via Twitter.
This escape was so epic — and ridiculous — it won a Best of Phoenix this year.
(This story originally was posted November 9.)