Last updated: 10:42 AM ET, Wed April 22 2015

Portland Airport Adds Goats and a Llama to Clean Up Facilities

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | April 22, 2015

Portland Airport Adds Goats and a Llama to Clean Up Facilities

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Travelers who make their way through Oregon's Portland International Airport may not notice the difference right away, but airport officials are making a major upgrade by adding 40 goats and a llama as temporary personnel.

According to the Port of Portland, the animals were hired to remove plant life from areas around the airport for three weeks. The goats will eat the invasive foliage such as blackberries, thistle and Scotch broom, and help crews at the airport from having to use harmful herbicides or try to get into difficult positions with lawn mowers.

The addition of a llama to the group is more of a precautionary measure. The animal has an aggressive demeanor and the size to fend off predators local to the area, like coyotes. All the animals are held in designated work areas by an electric fence.

Briana Murphy of Goat Power — the company providing the animal workers — shared a video of the goats and llama as an F-15 fighter jet flew by:

While temporarily adding 40 goats and a llama to the Portland Airport staff is a smart way to help the environment, the facility also employees other animals as well.

Over the last two years, PDX has employed “Fish” the dog, a border collie assigned with the task of keeping geese and other birds off the runways. Fish works a Monday through Friday shift and is on duty when the birds are most active; after sunrise and before sunset.

The airport also has a plethora of bees on its property with the purpose of helping beekeepers in the region by conducting studies on the insects. With the hope of getting the queen bee to adapt to the tough Northwest weather, the airport is aiding in the local development of the species.

With goats, llamas, a dog, and 29 controlled bee hives, there is no doubt that Portland International Airport is keeping Oregon tradition by doing what it can to think about Mother Nature first and foremost.

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