Lifeguard Dylan Kosten with the wandering goat.
By Rich Pollack
It took a while, but Dylan Kosten finally got his goat.
After work early last month, Kosten, a part-time lifeguard for Boca Raton Ocean Rescue, was heading to a beachfront party near Spanish River Park with other lifeguards when an elusive goat — yes, goat — that had been in the area for several weeks, made a guest appearance.
Fearing for the animal’s safety, Kosten and two other lifeguards decided it was time to do what they do best. They sprung to the rescue — only to discover that corralling a frightened goat had the potential to be as challenging as saving a struggling swimmer.
When a makeshift lasso didn’t work, Kosten, who grew up on a farm, decided to take a direct approach and lunged at the goat.
“I grabbed him by the horns and lifted him off the ground,” Kosten recalls, adding that the goat immediately calmed down. “It was like holding a cat.”
After an hourlong chase, Kosten and his roundup partners, lifeguards Johnny Santosuosso and Greg Ryan, grabbed the goat and brought it back to the festivities.
“We walked it to the barbecue like it was a dog,” Kosten said.
At the party, the goat got a lot of attention and he seemed to enjoy every minute of it.
“The goat was a special guest,” said Ocean Rescue Capt. Clint Tracy.
After the barbecue, the goat got a lift to the home of another lifeguard, who made a place for him in his yard.
But the goat with a fancy for freedom soon figured out a way to escape and was discovered early the next morning by a neighbor, who tied him to a tree and called police.
Officers, somewhat surprised to find a goat in the northeast Boca Raton neighborhood, came and took it into custody.
For now the little fellow is enjoying living on the farm of a Boca Raton detective who has temporarily adopted him.
“It’s got a good life now,” Kosten said.
Where the goat came from and how he ended up in Spanish River Park, where lifeguards speculate he made himself a home, remains a mystery. But a tag on his ear that read “meat” may have been an indication of what could have be in store for him down the road.
For the lifeguards, who have seen foxes, skunks and iguanas in the park and on the beach, rescuing a goat is a first.
“It’s the most absurd thing,” says Kosten. “Who would have thought I’d be chasing a goat in the dunes, especially in Boca Raton.”