Town of Leesburg | Goats remove vegetation 4

The Town of Leesburg in July opened one of its two floodway channels to goats for the removal of vegetation. The goats are pictured here at work near the corner of Dry Mill Road SW and Town Branch Terrace. Leesburg previously used an herbicide to clear out the disruptive growth, but local residents earlier this year shared environmental concerns about the product.

The cause of death of two weed-eating goats in Leesburg in July remains a mystery, according to town officials.

"The cause of death for the two goats has not been confirmed since a necropsy was not performed," Town of Leesburg Assistant Public Information Officer Leah Kosin said in a prepared statement.

While Loudoun County Animal Control suggested severe heat as a possible cause of death since no evidence of foul play was discovered, Kosin said the goats' owner believes they either ate something they shouldn't have or were bitten by a snake.

It wouldn't have been the first time the owner saw the latter happen.

"From her experience, goats that have died from confirmed snake bites don't show obvious signs of death," Kosin said.

Copperhead snakes are known to reside in the creek bed area where the goats were working, according to town officials.

The owner said the conditions on the farm where the goats typically reside are no different than the creek bed in which they were working. Both conditions provide shade and water, and the goats remain outdoors constantly despite the heat.

Kosin added that most of the goat herd originated from South Africa, which has extreme heat conditions.

The goats were commissioned earlier this year to clear undergrowth alongside several area waterways in Leesburg, replacing the use of harmful herbicide.

"The program has been successful and does have overwhelming support from the public despite concerns from a few residents," Kosin said. "Work at both Town Branch and the Plaza Street bridge area has been completed and the goats are on their way back home."

The owner of the goats, who oversaw their growth clearing in Leesburg, declined comment for this story.



-"Video: Goats get to work in Leesburg"

(5) comments


Will animal cruelty charges be brought against the government or the goat owners? I know if I was a goat I wouldn't want to be grazing in snake infested drainage ditches that are heavily dosed with chemicals....


Wow, Loudoun4Trump! we are really getting along lately!!! I agree! Why would someone put goats in this area, after chemicals that kill were doused there and then TRY TO HIDE IT??? No Necropsy was done? why not??? Why would this county use living things like this? Charges should be filed against someone....and LCAS needs to do their job.


Has it occured to anyone that maybe,just maybe,these goats are drinking polluted stream water that contains storm drain runoff?


Having goats clear the grasses is ridiculous. We have an entire organization in Loudoun dedicated to keeping animals OUT of waterways, since their waste is more hazardous to our water quality, then spraying herbicide.

Chris McHale

It was Trump's fault.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.