Jul 14, 2023 - News

See the goats that help clear brush from around Seattle roads

A herd of goats on the top of a hill next to a chain link fence, with some on their feet and others lying on the ground.

Working as a team. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

A herd of goats was helping clear vegetation Thursday under I-5 in Seattle.

  • The state and city transportation departments have both used goats to access places where people and machinery cannot go safely — like this sloping area off of North 40th Street, under the Ship Canal Bridge.
  • These particular goats are under a city contract, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
  • "They are here to clear the brush in an eco-friendly way," says a sign posted by Rent-A-Ruminant, the company that rents the goats to the city.
A white goat with large horns closes its eyes while laying on the ground amid other goats, with a chain link fence in foreground.
A little sunbathing to start the day. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Almost all these goats are rescues, per the company.

  • During the five months of the year the goats aren't working, they live on Vashon Island.

I have often seen goats here from a distance while walking or jogging along the Burke-Gilman trail — but this is the first time I've seen them this close.

  • In the morning when I passed them Thursday, many were doing a little sunbathing, but more were starting to roam and munch as I was leaving.
A goat with white, brown and black coloring approaches a chain link fence.
Baaaaaaaa. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
A white goat with large horns lays on the ground surrounded by other goats.
Taking a break. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
Goats lounging around under the freeway which is visible overhead and the supports to the sides, with a tree nearby.
The goats live on Vashon Island when they're not working. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

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