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Feb 04, 2016 11:23 AM EST

University of Iowa Needs Public's Help Locating a Lost Goat, PETA Not Happy

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The University of Iowa is seeking the public's help in locating a goat that escaped from its research facility last week, which drew the ire of PETA.

The most recognizable federal animal welfare group in the nation, PETA issued a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an investigation on the nature of the goat's escape, KCRG-TV9 reported.

UI's Office of Research and Economic Development issued a press release Tuesday stating the goat "escaped a portable carrier during a transfer operation" on Friday, Jan. 29. The school has received sightings since, but asked residents of the North Liberty area to be on the lookout for a "cream-and-white goat."

Alka Chandna, a senior laboratory oversight specialist, wrote a letter to UI accusing the school of violating the Animal Welfare Act for what possibly led to its escape, The Iowa City Press Citizen reported.

"It is unclear whether the goat sustained any injuries as a result of the escape or whether the goat will be safely captured," read the letter. "However, as it appears that the goat is still at large, it would seem that he spent more than 96 hours exposed to Coralville's freezing temperatures, alone, frightened, and confused; and very likely, hungry and thirsty."

PETA urged UI to bring the goat to a venerable animal sanctuary if or when they re-obtain it. In its USDA complaint, Chandna argued UI violated the Animal Welfare Acts' provisions requiring such transfer procedures to take place in some form of an enclosure.

In its release, UI stated the goat "is in excellent health and poses no public health risk."

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