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Weed-eating goats return to downtown L.A.

August 5, 2011 |  9:25 am

GoatsThe goats are back.

For the fourth year in a row, a herd of goats have taken up landscaping duties on Angels Knoll, the hill next to Angels Flight in downtown L.A.

The herd of 130 Boer South African goats will stay until Sunday, chomping and chewing their way through the weedy hillside, generally unaware of the crowd of onlookers that gather for photos of the downtown anomalies.

The Community Redevelopment Agency first opted for the goats in 2008, saying they were more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient than pollution-producing lawnmowers. It generally takes just a few days for the goats to clear the hillside -– and they even fertilize for free.

A company called Environmental Land Management has shipped in herds from San Diego for the last three summers, and caretakers from the company make sure to provide water to the goats and keep an eye on them.

Johnny Gonzales with Environmental Land Management explained why goats were a good brush reduction method as he watered the herd Thursday, saying they ate about 15% of their body weight each day. The goats were unleashed on the hillside, located near Broadway and 4th Street, on Thursday.


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-- Kate Mather and Al Seib

Photo: Johnny Gonzales with Environmental Land Management refills water for his herd of goats as they eat the weedy hillside of Angels Knoll in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times