GUSTON, KY (WAVE) - Houdini, the I-65 goat, has found a home to live out his retirement years.
The evasive goat is known for being along I-65, but disappearing before anyone could catch him.
Hardin County officials announced in early January the now famous goat is being cared for at the Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary in Guston, Kentucky.
That decision didn’t come easy.
After Houdini was injured in a traffic mishap on October 21, he spent months in captivity with Hardin County Animal Care and Control, healing a broken leg. Houdini didn’t like that very much, and showed signs of aggression, officials said.
Hardin County Judge Executive Harry L. Berry appointed a six-member committee to evaluate vet options for Houdini’s future home. The requirements included proper safety protocols, experience with similar livestock, and somewhere close to his former home so he could still receive visits from fans.
Broadbent, located just 50 miles outside of Hardin County, met those standards.
The animal sanctuary gave Houdini his own five-acre pen with a little barn. The barn has blankets for Houdini for cold nights.
“This is a pretty expensive pen that has special coyote bars on top of the pen, so the coyotes can’t get in here,” Mary Ann Tobin, the sanctuary’s founder, said.
Broadbent said Houdini is "enjoying his freedom, is in good spirits and getting to know his caretakers.”
There are other goats on the property that Houdini will eventually be put with.
Houdini mainly stays near two metal poles in the pen, which Tobin believes reminds him of his previous home -- I-65. She said they have something they want to add to the pen.
“Somebody’s supposed to be bringing us an I-65 sign so he’ll feel at home," Tobin said. "We’re going to put it on one of these posts. And he stays at these posts like he would on an expressway.”
Guided tours will soon be offered, which will include meeting Houdini.
“I appreciate the committee’s work and I am pleased Houdini has a new home that will provide him the proper resources to live out the remainder of his life in a safe, loving and peaceful environment," Berry said in a statement.
Berry also thanked the community for their help in providing funds and donations to offset the costs of Houdini’s care.
“Because of this, the costs to Hardin County taxpayers for Houdini’s care compared to our normal costs for animals in our care were abated,” he said.
Tobin said they plan to make this Houdini’s permanent home and don’t plan to release him.
“I think he’s home,” Tobin said. “And he’s happy here.”
Broadbent’s caretakers examined Houdini upon his arrival on Jan. 4. Veterinarians determined Houdini’s broken leg “didn’t heal perfectly.”
Houdini may have a permanent limp.
“It’s not likely he’ll be able to climb guardrails anymore, but he’s a big tough goat, and time will tell,” the release from Broadbent stated.
The sanctuary is pursuing other options for Houdini’s future care, which could include orthopedic surgery.
Broadbent has a 25-member staff and a full-time veterinarian, according to the release. An additional vet is flown in from Miami once a month to treat specialty cases, including Houdini.
The non-profit organization was founded in 2002 and focuses on providing a place for injured and orphaned animals to heal.
Broadbent does not receive state or federal funding and relies on donations. Find out how to donate, and learn more about the organization, on its website.
Those wishing to tour the sanctuary and meet Houdini should call Lydia at 270-547-4200.
The sanctuary is holding a t-shirt design contest for “Houdini the I-65 Goat” t-shirts. Submissions will be accepted until January 25. The only requirement is it should have the words “Houdini the I-65 Goat” on it.
The design can be scanned and emailed to Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t scan and email, email Diane and and she will give you a mailing address.