Goats Are Great at Removing Invasive and Harmful Vegetation, But This Herd Took a Break to Go Sightseeing

Don’t let the headline make you think that goats are just an annoying burden to the people of San Francisco!

Actually, this herd of 35 goats were doing a great service to the city when somebody let them loose.

Photo: Tiktok/ABC7 News

You see, these weed-eating animals came from City Grazing with the responsibility of ridding the park of poison oak and invasive plants. This is nothing new for these domesticated goats. Farms and cities from many parts of the world have been employing them for years to help with maintaining ecological balance and preventing fires.

City Grazing is one of those organizations in the United States that promotes goat-landscaping. It’s a non-profit company in San Francisco that takes care of more than a hundred goats for this noble purpose.

They have helped many municipalities, local organizations, schools, businesses, and homeowners in the Bay area. The company’s mission is “sustainable land management and fire risk reduction through outreach, education, and implementation of goat grazing.”

Photo: Tiktok/ABC7 News

In this particular incident, the goats’ mission was to help get rid of invasive and hazardous vegetation in the park. Poison oaks and poison ivy plants are of particular concern. According to Cleveland Clinic, “Poison ivy is a common poisonous plant that causes an itchy skin rash. Other rash-inducing poisonous plants include poison oak and poison sumac. These plants produce an oily sap that contains urushiol, which causes an irritating, itchy allergic reaction. When you touch the poisonous plant or an object that’s been in contact with the plant’s oil, you develop an itchy rash on that area of your skin. This rash is a form of allergic contact dermatitis.”

What’s worse about urushiol is that you can get it not only by getting in contact with the plant. When people burn these poisonous plants, the urushiol they contain gets released into the air. When your face comes into contact with the smoke, a rash will develop. Meanwhile, when you inhale the smoke, it will impact the delicate linings of your nasal passages, throat, and mouth. The toxic oil in the air can also hurt your lungs and cause breathing difficulty.

However, for some mysterious reason, these poisonous plants don’t affect goats. They can digest them without suffering any digestive or health problems. As stated on PetKeen, there’s a speculation among experts that these weed-eating animals have certain enzymes in their stomachs that protect them from the toxic oil. Their immunity to it may even be the result of evolution.

Photo: Tiktok/ABC7 News

There’s also another theory that urushiol doesn’t harm goats due to the rumen in their gut. The bacteria and protozoa in the rumen break down the poison; thus it gets digested like any other food that goats eat. As a matter of fact, since poison ivy doesn’t cause them indigestion or toxicity, these plants are a favorite meal for goats for being woody and leafy.

However, a goat-landscaping program needs to be continual to be truly effective. That’s because goats don’t eat the roots of poisonous plants, and so these vegetation are bound to grow back. But with goats regularly eating away the leaves of these plants, they eventually die due to inability to produce energy through photosynthesis.

Now, San Francisco is among the latest cities to have joined the bandwagon – employing goats to keep parks and people safe. However, on this particular day, according to ABC 7 News, somebody with mischief on his mind cut a hole in the park’s enclosure, where the agitated goats escaped.

Photo: Tiktok/ABC7 News

Such chaotic but hilarious traffic it created! A herd of goats crossing the busy Marina District to get to the water.

The funny scene was caught on camera by Steven Hing, a dog walker, who shared the footage with ABC7 News, with one of his client’s dogs reacting to the unexpected sight of a large herd of goats.

The staff of the Parks and Recreation department and members of the San Francisco Police Department were quick to lend help in guiding the goats back to the park. It was a great thing that the City Grazing uses “reward-based training,” and the goats were lured back with just a bale of hay.

The last report on the goats? They’re all safe and healthy and looking happy while basking in San Francisco’s golden sun!


Well this is something you don’t see every day in San Francisco. A herd of weed-eating goats escaped their enclosure and stopped traffic along a busy street in the city’s Marina District — and all of it was caught on camera. A City Goats employee managed to lure them back to safety with a bale of hay. #goat #goats #animal #animals #sanfrancisco #sf #marina #marinadistrict #franciscopark #park #dog #dogs #dogwalker #caughtoncamera #news #fyp #foryoupage #abc7news

♬ original sound – ABC7 News

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