Bartender jumps into action to rescue drowning goat

A good Samaritan jumped into the river to save a drowning goat near the Jefferson dam.Mike Soleska told FOX6 N...

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 5:59 AM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 5:59 AM

A good Samaritan jumped into the river to save a drowning goat near the Jefferson dam.

Mike Soleska told FOX6 News he grew up around goats and was raised on goat's milk. He said when he realized what was happening, he knew he had to do something.

It happened on Friday night, June 1. A goat grazing on a small island fell into the Rock River. Soleska was bar tending at a tavern near the dam when someone burst through the doors.

"'Call 911. One of the goats fell in the river.' It was drowning," said Soleska.

Soon, the goat, named Elsa, was chewing even more scenery as a damsel in distress.

"The water is really high right now. Usually it's a lot lower," said Soleska.

Soleska keeps a canoe in a garage across the street. Without hesitating, he headed for the river.

"When I got out there, she was (struggling a lot)," said Soleska.

As her friends Buddy and Anna watched helplessly from the water's edge, Soleska switched into "hero mode."

"I was against the wall and the water kept pushing me. I had the goat in one hand and I didn't want to squish it," said Soleska.

Cellphone video and pictures taken by the Daily Jefferson County Union show Soleska getting the goat.

The goats are there for a reason -- to naturally help tackle and reduce invasive plant species. It's safe to say Elsa won't "let goat" again as caretakers put up a fence shortly after her dip into the water.

"Then once they got back to shore they were pretty happy again," said Soleska.

Elsa was given a new accessory of her own -- a life jacket, as Soleska has gained a reputation around town as the true "GOAT"-saver of Jefferson.

"The internet got ahold of it and it just kind of snowballed," said Soleska.

Soleska said Monday, June 4 he'd been bombarded with Facebook messages since the incident -- some from friends and family, but most from strangers -- all thanking him for saving Elsa's life.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30060

Reported Deaths: 521
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6690129
Marion433689
Washington420858
Umatilla288141
Clackamas219961
Malheur147023
Jackson10073
Lane91314
Deschutes73912
Yamhill72114
Jefferson5038
Polk48915
Morrow4775
Lincoln47013
Linn44913
Union4352
Klamath2672
Benton2476
Hood River2400
Wasco2303
Douglas1953
Josephine1802
Columbia1481
Coos1340
Clatsop1060
Baker892
Crook601
Tillamook470
Lake290
Wallowa281
Curry260
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam70
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Corvallis
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Roseburg
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
North Bend
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events