No doubt authorities in Goddard, Kansas, thought someone was about to tell a pretty corny joke. When they got a call about a camel, cow and donkey hanging out together in a neighborhood, there had to be a punchline. Were they about to walk into a bar?

But the meandering animals were real.

"Does anyone know the owners of these three friends traveling together (towards a Northern star) just East of Goddard?" the police department posted on Facebook. "If we can not locate the owner, we may be halfway towards a live nativity this Christmas season."

The unusual trio sparked quite a few comments, especially this close to the holidays.

"Are there 3 wise looking men near?"

"Let them keep walking and follow them. Who knows, they may lead you to the second coming. ITS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE."

"If all humans could just get along like most animals do."

The people who actually saw the animals up close were especially amazed.

Trudy Wilcox said she was driving into the neighborhood when she saw the unlikely companions.

“We were just coming back from picking up a friend and came into the trailer park and the first thing we see is, hey there's a cow, wait a minute, that’s a donkey, and that’s a camel and we had all three,” she told KWCH-TV. “The camel was trying to find tall branches so he could have some leaves."

After neighbors called 911, police arrived and posted the photo on Facebook. They were able to reunite the runaways with their owner, who lived just a few blocks away and is an employee of a local wildlife park.

While the animals waited for their family to arrive, they enjoyed lots of attention, getting petted and posing for photos.

And because some neighbors already had Christmas decorations up, the animals brought some extra holiday spirit.

“We thought it was only missing the sheep because you had the cow, a camel and a donkey all in the nativity,” said Kevin Wilcox. “I just thought that was kind of a cool thing this close to Christmas.”

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

Camel, cow and donkey found wandering in Kansas neighborhood
Escaped camel, cow and donkey in Kansas are 'halfway towards a live nativity.'