Munching in Seattle

Ha! Explanation found. Howdidweeverlivewithoutgoogle.

I went for a long walk yesterday, down the hill, into Elliott Bay park, along the waterfront to Pioneer Square. During the along the waterfront phase I looked up to my left at the steep hillside between the shoreline and downtown Seattle – and stopped in amazement because it was full of goats. Goats, I tell you! Goats in downtown Seattle, goats in an urban landscape. They were all browsing away, as goats do. Huh. Obviously they were there to weed the slope, but I wanted to know more.

So I found more. From King-5 News last June:

Farhan Syed spends his free time at the office these days looking out the window with his co-workers.

“We are men who watch goats,” said Sayed, who works for a software company in downtown Seattle.

120 goats are at work on the hillside below the Alaskan Way Viaduct outside Sayed’s window. The goats are under the supervision of Head Goat Wrangler Tammy Dunakin, who also owns the Rent-A-Ruminant company.

Dunakin said the Seattle Department of Transportation hired her and her goats to clear a site that is too steep and dangerous for humans and their equipment.

No noisy polluting weed-eaters, no herbicides – just a hillside dotted with sweet goats.


  1. blondeintokyo says

    That’s great. My father did the same thing with our goats, when he wanted to clear the tall weeds from any part of the farm. But goats aren’t sweet animals. They’re nasty, mean, stupid, and the males will purposely try to pee on you. My sisters and I learned not to get too close them. that stream flies pretty far. LOL. 🙂

  2. thephilosophicalprimate says

    Whoops! College of *Agricultural and* Environmental Sciences. Wouldn’t want to tick off any of my fellow Bulldawgs. 🙂

  3. says

    Thanks, G.

    Goats are sweet from a distance, at least…I was at the bottom of the slope and across the railroad tracks, the underneath of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and a 4-lane street. I was far away. 🙂

  4. Paul Workman says

    We had some of those here in the Bay Area a few years back…until some asshole shot the goats. Don’t know if they ever did it again after that.

  5. Lofty says

    Goats are quite cute in their own way but don’t tether one close to your favourite fruit tree. Ringbarked and savaged to death within 20 minutes!
    /My fault entirely.

  6. AnotherAnonymouse says

    My state has a company that rents out goats, too. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Goats are non-polluting and don’t tear up the land.

  7. Omar Puhleez says

    Lofty @ 7: “Goats are quite cute in their own way but don’t tether one close to your favourite fruit tree. Ringbarked and savaged to death within 20 minutes!”

    From my travels in the parts of Greece classically known as ‘Arcadia’, in Crete, Turkey and Iran, I have concluded that much of the Middle East and parts of Europe bordering it might as well have been hit by a neutron bomb. The best explanation appears to me to be goats. They are quite intelligent, agile, sure-footed at heights and fearsomely bloody destructive.

    I do not think it a mere accident that the Devil is often portrayed in art in the guise of a goat; walking on its hind legs.

    I visited Lord Howe Island a few years ago. It is 2 hours’ flying time from Sydney, and is reckoned by numerous connoisseurs of the Pacific as the jewel of that ocean. A park ranger I met there told me that his job was to exterminate feral animals brought into Lord Howe in the 19th C by the first human (European) visitors.

    Specifically these were: rats (very destructive of ground-nesting birds); pigs (he claimed to have shot all but the last two, and they were both males) and bloody goats. The goats somehow always manged to have cleared out of any location 5 minutes before his arrival, were hard to eradicate, and were also very destructive.

    So my message to the burghers and goatherds of Seattle is a simple one: REPENT! YOU ARE CONSORTING WITH SATAN! CHANGE YOUR SINFUL WAYS WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME!

    I hope they all read this blog, and are still capable of feeling inner shame.


  8. MadHatter says

    When I was still in Seattle 2 years ago, UW was using goats to keep certain areas weed free and it wasn’t uncommon to point them towards blackberry patches that were taking over!

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