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Goats get loose in Pittsburgh's Brighton Heights overnight

Matthew Santoni
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 5:12 a.m.
Goats begin to clear weeds from a hillside at Carnegie Mellon University.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Goats begin to clear weeds from a hillside at Carnegie Mellon University.
Goats Tuesday morning in Brighton Heights Park, after they escaped and were returned to their enclosure.
Gavin Deming, Allegheny GoatScape
Goats Tuesday morning in Brighton Heights Park, after they escaped and were returned to their enclosure.

Ten goats and a donkey hoofed it down a Brighton Heights street early Tuesday morning after the herd clearing a nearby park got loose, authorities said.

An Allegheny County 911 supervisor said the call came shortly after midnight for the herd in the 800 block of Brighton Woods Road. There was no apparent property damage and the goats — and the donkey who "guards" them — were quickly rounded up.

Allegheny Goatscape's Facebook page and the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation said the goats had been in the park since about Sept. 25, eating invasive vines and knotweed in preparation for further trail development.

Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said a Zone 1 police officer escorted the animals back to their enclosure, since Animal Care & Control officers were not on duty at that hour. There were no signs of property damage or criminal mischief.

Gavin Deming, Allegheny Goatscape's founder and executive director, said a deer had apparently run through a section of the goats' fencing during the night and they all walked through the gap it left.

"They're all in and accounted for. ... Everything remains on and intact," he wrote in an email.

When the herd was grazing in the South Side in August, someone damaged the goats' electric fence and stole equipment powering it. In another incident in the same park, teenagers tried to ride Hobo, the donkey protecting the goats , and assaulted him with rocks.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or on Twitter @msantoni.

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