Speaking of humans and animals partnering for a healthy environment:
This summer Riverside Park Conservancy, in Upper West Side Manhattan,“hired” 24 goats in charge of weed control for steep areas overgrown with invasive and dangerous plants, like poison ivy and such. Goats are natural weed whackers, consuming vegetation like an all-you-can-eat buffet — as much as 25% of their body weight in one day! It’s a win-win: the goats, retired from their former careers on local farms, enjoy a nutritious sylvan respite and overgrowth is controlled without harmful pesticides, plus the soil gets fertilized with nutrient-rich goat manure. The senior animals are also a beloved attraction to park goers.
Turns out “Gotham,” now a popular nickname for New York City, comes from the Old English meaning “goat town.” The term was first applied as a putdown by Washington Irving in 1807 in his essays on the small island settlement. Folk tales of the Middle Ages regarded goats as foolish animals and Gotham as a place of simple-minded fools. Goats and Gothamites in today’s Big Apple might have something to say about that!