I realize how absurd that headline sounds, but it’s true — and it’s not just goats. Llamas, sheep, and donkeys are all pitching in to get some landscaping done at ORD in a super eco-initiative called the Sustainable Vegetation Management program. It’s actually the second year of the Chicago Department of Aviation initiative and the 37 animals get to go and graze to their hearts’ content on 120 acres of land on the O’Hare International Airport grounds that were deemed perfect for chomping on.
Other airports have gotten into the grazing action, too, with SFO, ATL, and SEA all fielding a field team of the mammal variety. It’s a win-win for everyone as the animals get a place to graze, the airports get low-cost labor that takes care of areas that human landscaping crews find difficult to service, and frequent flyer bloggers like me have something funky to write about.
For the animal lovers out there, don’t worry. The grazing beasts aren’t allowed anywhere near the flight path so there won’t be a sheep-747 collision any time soon.
The herd of animal mowers get to stick around one of the country’s busiest airports until the temperature starts dipping below safe conditions, so if you’re flying through ORD in the next few months, keep your eyes out during take-off for the free-range lawnmowers out there.
Here’s a video of the grazers in action courtesy of the City of Chicago: