Arlington goat escape: Dozens of goats escape enclosure, wander through neighborhoods

If you "herd" about an unusual sight in Arlington Tuesday morning, it was indeed a spectacle.

Arlington police were called to round up a herd of goats wandering through neighborhoods after they escaped their enclosure on Tuesday morning.

"It looks like they may have gotten out of the fence, or the fence fell, we don’t know exactly what happened, but they got out," said Arlington Police Sgt. Alex Rosado.

Somehow, nearly 200 goats got out of the Crystal Canyon Natural Area.

"We just knew it was a lot, and they were going through people’s yards and people were calling," said Sgt. Rosado.

Photos and video from Arlington police show dozens of goats in the neighborhood near Brown Boulevard and Winding Hollow Lane.

"This is a mess," an officer is heard saying on body camera video.

A team of Arlington police officers wrangled the animals and brought them back to their enclosure.

"Who knew we were goat wranglers now," the officer said with a laugh.

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(Source: Arlington Police)

Brown Boulevard was closed for a short time on Tuesday morning to make sure the herd could be moved safely. 


So where did the goats come from?

"They got here at noon last Tuesday, and we expect them to be here for another week or so," said Michael Debrecht, the assistant director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Arlington.

The City of Arlington partnered with a company to bring hundreds of goats to the Crystal Canyon Natural area to eat underbrush and invasive plants, like poison ivy and poison oak, in the park to clear waterways and reduce the fire risk.

"They eat the species, and you’ll have them fertilize the land as well, so it's more natural," said Debrecht.

The working assumption at the moment is that hikers moved the fence.

"Once those goats found a spot, I think they all just kinda took off together," said Debrecht.

The round-up wrapped up in about 40 minutes.

"I can’t promise plants weren’t eaten that weren’t supposed to be eaten, but no goats were injured," Debrecht said with a laugh.

In total there are more than 400 goats in the city project. The animals eat about two acres of vegetation a day.