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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Goats Gone Wild in the Congressional Cemetery

bout 200 former members of Congress and their families are buried in the Congressional Cemetery in southeast Washington, D.C. Lots of other famous people are buried there, too, such as J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI and Mary Ann Hall, the madam of D.C. who ran a bordello for Civil War soldiers.

A few months ago the cemetery found itself with some extra property, but the property is covered with thick poisonous plants that can suffocate the trees. Clearing the land with machinery and pesticides would have cost more than $10,000 and would have harmed the environment. So the cemetery settled on something better: Goats!

Goats can eat poisonous plants and are able to clear an entire acre in only a few days. The cemetery ordered about 60 from a company called Eco-Goats who brought the goats from Maryland to eat at the cemetery for a full week.

Goats are pretty much gluttons. "It just amazes me, the sheer volume of vegetation that can go through a goat in a short amount of time," said Brian Knox, who raises the animals. "You're looking at 10 to 15 pounds per animal, per day." After a week, the goats will clear 1.6 acres of land at a cost of only 25 cents per goat per hour.

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