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Allegheny

Grazing goats and their protective donkey set to return to Pittsburgh parks

Bob Bauder
| Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 5:12 p.m.
A herd of goats and Hobo the donkey graze in South Side Park in 2017.
A herd of goats and Hobo the donkey graze in South Side Park in 2017.

Pittsburgh's grazing goats will likely be back munching on weeds and brush in city parks this year.

City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement by unanimous preliminary vote that would permit Allegheny GoatScape to graze its goats on city property for five years. A final vote is expected Tuesday.

Public Works Director Mike Gable said the city has used goats over the past several years to clean up parks and city-owned properties of knotweed, poison ivy and brush.

“It's proven to be a very successful program,” Gable said. “These goats work all hours of the day and night.”

The goats have been a popular attraction for residents, who stop to photograph and watch them. They are accompanied by a donkey named Hobo and penned in by an electric fence. The donkey is there to protect the goats from dogs and other animals.

A herd along with Hobo escaped last year from Riverview Park through a gap in the fence made by a deer. They were rounded up after running along Brighton Road for a short distance.

Earlier in 2017, someone damaged the electric fence while goats were grazing in a South Side park. Teenagers jumped the fence on another occasion and tried to ride Hobo in the same park. They also threw rocks at the donkey.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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