By Briana Smith

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A group of goats is now roaming Frick Park, removing unwanted vegetation and improving the site for other plants and animals.

Fourteen goats and their protector, a miniature donkey, were chomping away on Clayton Hill Monday morning. They’ll be there for about two weeks to eat about an acre of vegetation.

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This herd of animals, called Team Hobo, are from Allegheny GoatScape.

(Photo: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy partnered with the group to improve the site as a breeding habitat for birds and a fuel source for those migrating south. It’ll also help the trees and plants.

The goats and donkey will eat about 4 to 8 pounds of vegetation, including honeysuckle and stilt grass.

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Organizers say this method is better than spraying chemicals or operating machinery in the park.

“Pittsburgh is really hard, especially on the hillsides, to get up and down the hills to remove unwanted vegetation. Goats are really good climbers. They can climb very easily. And they’re fun. They’re cathartic animals and this is what they naturally do,” said Allegheny GoatScape Executive Director Gavin Deming.

It’s the fourth year the goats are eating their way through Frick Park and they’re not going home anytime soon. Once they’re done at Clayton Hill, they’ll head to another section of the park.

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They’ll be at Frick Park for about a month clearing out the vegetation.