Reader Eric Cotts recently shared the photo above with us. It was taken on June 1, and shows a large number of goats on a hill near the Berkeley Lab. It inspired us to send our photo intern Melati Citrawireja to capture more images of the animals everyone seems to adore (see them below the fold).
While goats are commonly used to clear brush and grass in the East Bay (Berkeleyside has written about this use of goats for fire prevention), Cotts was not convinced the cloven-hoofed herd was there for such a benign reason. “I would not be so sanguine about the intent of these agile Bovidae,” he wrote us.
“Presumably reports are already streaming in to Berkeleyside about the hundreds of goats massing on the edge of town,” he wrote. “653 goats were spotted this morning on the edge of Centennial Drive, just above campus (and LBNL). The goats (labelled ‘a goat army’ by one independent observer), were clearly well coordinated and up to something. Whether this is simply a fact finding tour on their part, or they plan to take the town, is anyone’s guess at this point. At 9:46 a.m. they appeared to be showing some movement towards the Botanical Garden.”
At least one other reader echoed Cotts’ conspiracy theory. After we posted his photo and remarks on Facebook, Evelyn Nussenbaum wrote: “I am ready to submit to our new goat masters.”
Others rejoiced at seeing such an environmentally sound activity on display. Wrote Waziuddin Chowdhury: “These soldiers show up year after year to clean the brushes and make our hills safe. No fuel emission, only fertilizers after a good day’s work. Everybody wins!”
Melati Citrawireja, who took the photographs for this story, is a summer photo intern at Berkeleyside. Citrawireja is a development studies undergraduate at UC Berkeley, currently pursuing a career in visual journalism. More of her work can be found online at Melati Photography.
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