NEW YORK >> The call from the train operator came in just before 11 a.m. today to the New York City subway’s command center, an alert unusual even for a system accustomed to morning commutes with delays: There was a breaking situation unfolding on the tracks.
Two goats were on the lam.
The white goats with brown heads spent the morning trotting along the N train line in Brooklyn, making their way from the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop toward the 8th Avenue stop, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subways.
“We’re told they were munching grass,” said Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for the MTA. They were tranquilized and captured just before 1 p.m., according to the MTA.
Fortunately, the portion of the Sea Beach line the pair chose for their ramble has been closed to train traffic for station rehabilitation. They did, however, graze close to an electrified third rail. By 11:30 a.m., subway crews joined by police had corralled them onto one of the closed tracks, according to the MTA.
Riders experienced temporary service changes to the southbound N train. Around noon Monday, police boarded an empty N train, which ferried officers down the track to retrieve the wayward herbivores.
Where the goats came from is unclear, though there are a number of slaughterhouses in the area where they were found. Other animals, like cows, have absconded from area slaughterhouses in the past.
“They do not have names as far as we know,” Weinstein said.
They might by now. Jon Stewart, the comedian, and his wife, Tracey, picked up the goats in Brooklyn and transported them part of the way to Farm Sanctuary’s shelter in Watkins Glen, New York, a spokeswoman said.
“There, they will receive medical examinations and the world-class, individualized care,” Farm Sanctuary’s spokeswoman, Meredith Turner-Smith, said in a statement. Both goats are male, and are of the Boer breed, which is commonly raised for its meat, Turner-Smith said.
Stewart, the former host of “The Daily Show,” and his wife have been supporters of the shelter since 2015, when they opened Farm Sanctuary’s fourth location at their farm in New Jersey. Tracey Stewart is also on the board of directors of the farm animal protection organization that operates shelters in New York and California.