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Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tamsin Cooper

Dozens of goats will be roaming Riverside Park this summer

Written by
Zoe Butenhoff

The colloquial term “G.O.A.T” may have faded from its trendy status, but it appears that the actual furry animals are still, very much, on-trend.

Twenty-four adorable goats have taken over Riverside Park this summer. The new initiative, dubbed “GOaTHAM” by the Riverside Park Conservatory, is part of an effort to tame the sloped terrain of the park which has been overrun by weeds and other invasive plants.

Here’s where the fuzzy creatures come into the picture: Goats eat about 25 percent of their body weight every day, and their indulgence of choice is weeds. In this win-win scenario, the retired goats (they can no longer make milk or breed) are being treated to an all-you-can-eat-buffet while the park gets a little refurbishment treatment.

In fact, the presence of the four-legged animals in Manhattan is nothing new. Nowadays, you may be hard-pressed to find free roaming goats in the city (short of a petting zoo), but, once upon a time, goats wandered the underdeveloped Upper West Side. Even the New York City nickname, “Gotham” actually translates to “goat town” in Old English. From May 21st to August 30th, you can now fully embrace your “goat town” roots by visiting the fenced-in area of Riverside Park between 119th to 125th Street.

But don’t be fooled by these animal’s darling faces; they’re on the job. And the Conservatory advises not to pet the goats since they might have traces of poison ivy on their fur. Instead, show the goats some love by going to the Conservatory’s website and voting for which goat you think is the greatest. (Each contestant has a picture and a bio on the website.) And for all those pun-lovers out there who are desperately awaiting another goat-themed wordplay, the website’s donation portal “Goat Fund Me” will tickle your fancy.

This summer, weed out your other distractions by journeying to tranquil Riverside Park and enjoy watching goats make the rolling hills their home once again.

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