Arizona State Fair Goat GusGus Kids Around in Video After Traumatic Kidnapping

A new video from the Great American Petting Zoo shows GusGus the goat playing at his new home on a Texas ranch following his brief kidnapping here earlier this month.

The adorable, fuzzy goat was stolen from the Arizona State Fair at 1826 West McDowell Road on November 4. 

How the thief or thieves managed to spirit 3 1/2-week-old GusGus out of the fairgrounds, which is patrolled by tan-uniformed members of the state Department of Public Safety, still is unknown. Fair officials worried that the goat was too physically vulnerable to survive the ordeal.

But the thief released GusGus following heavy media attention, and the goat was found about 20 hours later wandering near a North Phoenix canal. Bart Graves, spokesman for the DPS, says today that he's unaware of any arrests in the case.

Now, as the video shows, GusGus is "happy and free" on the Great American Lonestar Ranch.

While the kid's kidnapping drew the biggest headlines of the fair this year, it wasn't the only excitement at the annual event. Hordes of fair-goers wolfed down fry bread, braved puke-inducing rides, watched a concert at the ancient Coliseum or just took in the soft aromas of trampled hay and monster-truck exhaust.

Organizers posted figures that recorded 1,102,044 visitors over 18 days, from October 16 to November 8. Some folks waited until the end to check out the annual shindig, setting a last-day attendance record of 113,196 people.

Take that, Disneyland!

While respectable, the overall total is a decline over last year. The all-time attendance record was set in 2006 at 1,303,690.

Concerts featured throwbacks including Rick Springfield, Meat Loaf, and Jane's Addiction. 

Some other interesting stats from the 2015 State Fair:

* Live performances (including much more than concerts): 499

* Money raised by 25th Annual Junior Livestock Sale of Champions: $80,000-plus

* Number of cows, sheep, goats and other farm animals: 3,050

* Number of corn dogs eaten: 50,000

* Number of Twinkies eaten: 5,000

* Pounds of sugar for cotton candy: 25,000

* Temporary employees hired: 1,271

* Dancing bears: Eight

Next year's fair is tentatively planned for October 7 through 30.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.