Being a GOAT
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Climate change has been causing strange weather phenomena around the globe, including severe heatwaves and catastrophic wildfires.
Firefighters can only do so much.
Enter goats: These sure-footed creatures have increasingly moved in, in various regions, to help prevent wildfires from getting out of control, the Washington Post reported.
Last month, a 10-acre wildfire slowed and fizzled out in the city of West Sacramento, California after 400 hungry goats had eaten the hard-to-reach underbrush surrounding a neighborhood of more than 250 homes.
Since 2014, the city has hired the animals to munch on flammable vegetation and create a firebreak to prevent the wildfires from spreading.
“They can get into places where mowers can’t go, they eat all day without complaining and the fertilizer is free of charge,” said city spokesman Paul Hosley.
West Sacramento is just one of the many municipalities and jurisdictions that have used the ruminants to clear the land of vegetation. The age-old practice, however, is seeing a surge elsewhere around the world in recent years, too, as wildfires are becoming more commonplace, National Geographic noted.
Many officials praise the mammals for their ability to eat anything, including toxic plants, and access difficult terrain. Others pointed out that their use makes sense in a period when water resources are shrinking – even as firefighters need these resources to fight the blazes.
But apart from their firefighting skills, the mammals are also helping the local ecosystem by munching through invasive plants and protecting the native vegetation.
It’s official, goats are the GOAT – the Greatest of All Time.