Dozens Of Goats Take Over Boise Neighborhood

Aug 3, 2018
Originally published on August 3, 2018 6:57 pm
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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right now, time for the big news of the day out of Idaho.

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DOUG PETCASH: We have a developing story, an unusual story to report. We've now learned goats - a lot of them - are causing quite a scene in a Boise neighborhood. Our Joe Parris was live in the middle of it this morning. Joe, what is going on?

JOE PARRIS: Well, Doug, I'm trying to stay out of the way because they're actually moving all the way down the street here in this neighborhood off of Five Mile in Boise.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In the background of the live shot behind reporter Joe Parris, a flock of goats is demolishing a suburban front yard, climbing a tree, devouring rose bushes and ripping up shrubs by the roots.

CHANG: No one knew where the goats came from. Some had tags in their ears, but generally it was a mystery.

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PARRIS: But for now they're just going yard to yard, eating everyone's front lawn. I talked to...

CORNISH: At this point Twitter was exploding.

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PARRIS: But, Doug, we're going to stick with this story all morning. We're going to see exactly how this develops. Pretty interesting sight here in a Boise neighborhood.

CHANG: We called up that reporter, Joe Parris.

PARRIS: A hundred and eighteen goats eating everything in sight. And they had such a system. They were going lawn to lawn like they had decided previously on an order. It was very organized.

CORNISH: Finally, a large truck showed up with the title We Rent Goats on the side.

PARRIS: They were getting calls that their goats were possibly on the loose. And they had a herder dog. Her name is Gypsy (ph). She's very cute. And with the help of the neighborhood kids, they held up some fences and piled all the goats back onto the truck.

CHANG: So there's a company that just rents out goats.

PARRIS: Some people have goats on their property to eat down potential fuel that would be for fires.

CORNISH: Meanwhile, here in the newsroom we still had a lot of questions, especially our Morning Edition colleague and Idaho native Rachel Martin.

RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Like, was there one goat that was, like, let's go guys; we're out of here? And then did they finish their job, or did they just bail? Do goats get work anxiety dreams? I mean, we all get them, and this seems like kind of a stressful job.

CHANG: But before we get too existential about these goats, let's go back. How did they get out in the first place? We called Matt Gabica, the owner of that large truck and the goats themselves.

MATT GABICA: There was apparently some tall weeds on the edge of the fence, and they were standing up on their back legs to get them. And it looks like they knocked just two of the little flat boards loose. And all 118 went through a hole that's not even a foot wide.

CORNISH: Gabica found out about it the same way we did - through the local news - and jumped into action.

GABICA: Somehow the news and everyone got here before we heard about it. But we got a big trailer that can fit over 200 goats on it, so we just pulled up to where the community had them kind of gathered up and put the ramp down and let the goats load up.

CHANG: The goats are contained for now. But Gabica admits they can be tough to keep in one place.

GABICA: They do like being part of a herd. They're really good at what they do. They're just also kind of hard to fence sometimes.

CORNISH: Gabica is pretty amused by the worldwide response. As he spoke to us on the phone, he got at least five or six more calls from newsrooms just as intrigued with the goats as we were.

CHANG: And reporter Joe Parris was shocked at the response, too.

PARRIS: Oh, it's overwhelming. I mean, social media has just exploded. I had to delete Twitter because it kept freezing my phone up.

CORNISH: He's back to reporting other stories in Boise now. But our colleague Rachel Martin - yeah, she's still churning out questions.

MARTIN: If a goat was stranded on a desert island, what five albums would a goat take?

CHANG: Well, obviously some New Kids On The Block and maybe...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KIDS IN AMERICA")

MXPX: (Singing) We're the kids in America. Whoa-oh. We're the kids in America. Whoa-oh. Everybody lives for the music-go-round. La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la (ph). Sing. La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.