One by one, goat after goat emerged from a trailer at Rundle Park, marking the arrival of the weed-eating animals for the summer.
A herd of 170 goats has been brought in to help the battle against noxious weeds at the northeast Edmonton park.
“Goats are all-terrain browsers, which makes them perfect for the diverse landscape in Rundle Park,” project manager Joy Lakhan said. “These goats have been trained to target key weed species, so they are ideal for sensitive areas where herbicides and many other control methods aren’t appropriate.”
The goats will be in the park intermittently until September. Their job will be to chow down on Canada thistle, leafy spurge, common tansy, common burdock, yellow toadflax and dandelions. They will always be under the watch of a skilled shepherd and several herding horses and dogs.
Public events with the goats will be organized in August and September. The city is asking the public not to disturb the goats and offers the following safety tips:
- The fence will be electrified with a gentle current to keep the goats from roaming away from the area. Keep your distance from the fence.
- Don’t feed the goats. They have enough leafy spurge and other noxious weeds to munch on.
- Keep all dogs on a leash in the area. There will be herding dogs off-leash and working but they are trained to protect and herd the goats. They are very protective with their goats so they will bark at any strange dogs approaching the herd.
- Report any irresponsible goat viewing behaviour to staff on site or call 311.