When the General Services Administration needed workers to clear brush from an overgrown hillside behind a federal courthouse in Pasadena, it decided to think outside the box.
Or, more accurately, think outside the species.
Rather than hire expensive humans with power equipment to clear the hill, as it had in the past, GSA brought in a herd of goats to eat their way through the offending vegetation.
Now, GSA didn’t enter into this decision blindly — it produced a 10-page report on the great goat vs. human debate. The report was mostly just pictures of goats, but it stated that goats would cost about $2,000, while humans would cost $5,300. The goats also were deemed able to do the work faster and with a lower carbon footprint. The report also said that tenant satisfaction would be “high” if goats were used, but “low” with human manual laborers. No explanation there as to why. Quality of work was judged to be “good” by both species, so … score one for the humans? I guess?
In a release on GSA’s website, a GSA official said “the clerk of the court watched the goats depart and said she’d be happy to see them back again — the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”