Portland airport uses goats, llama to clear invasive plants

PORTLAND, Ore. - In a city that loves its goats, the Portland International Airport now has a temporary herd.

Forty goats and a llama started munching this week on invasive plants such as blackberries, thistle and Scotch broom near the PDX airfield. The llama's job is to keep away predators like coyotes.

The Port of Portland, which owns the property, says using goats alleviates the need for spraying herbicides or removing the weeds by hand.

The goats are kept from escaping by a portable, solar-powered electric fence. They will work at the airport for three weeks.

"It should take the goats just over 3 weeks (about 25 days) to clear the area in which they are currently fenced," said Kama Simmonds, spokeswoman for the airport.

The goats join other working animals at the airport: dogs that chase away geese on undeveloped properties near the airfield and 29 bee hives that feed on native flowering plants.


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