You never know what you might see when you travel abroad. But, goats at the airport are definitely unexpected in a large metropolitan city in the US.
The airport in question:
Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is getting goats.
Why get goats?
To provide landscaping services.
The whole story:
The aviation authority have agreed to a two year contract of sustainable vegetation management grazing services.
All about going green:
The whole point of going with sustainable vegetation grazing is to improve the amount of pollution that is being put into the environment by the act of landscaping. By using animals to do the service there will be a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. There will be no reason to use the highly toxic herbicides that have been used in the past.
About the goats:
There will be anywhere from 25 to 30 goats brought in for the job. They will have access to 120 acres that are loaded with foliage. There are aspects of the land that makes up the airport that are very difficult to maintain simply because these spots are hard, if not impossible to get machinery to. There are hills and creeks that the goats will be able to maintain with ease. The goats will be kept safe and secure by means of security fencing as well as regular supervision. They will spend their days happily munching and their nights in a transport trailer.
This is not the first time that goats will be used at the airport.
San Francisco airport:
Will have goats each summer for just three weeks. They are very effective in clearing the space for a fire break and it only takes a few weeks.
Seattle Sea-Tac airport:
Tried goats and then gave it up. They were not happy with the insatiable appetites that goats have for pretty much anything. It only took them a week to decide that the goats were not a good fit for their airport. It was after they began to devour all of the native plants that they actually wanted to keep.