Goats race through Manhattan's Riverside Park as weed whacking herd returns

RIVERSIDE PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two dozen goats raced through one of New York City's largest parks Wednesday as the beloved weed whacking herd returned.

Dubbed the 'Running of the Goats' by the Riverside Park Conservancy, the event drew a raucous crowd who cheered on the goats as they made their way down a path and into a fenced-in field at the park on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Officials said five of the goats will remain for the entire summer eating invasive species, such as vines.

Goats have the ability to consume 25% of their body weight in vegetation, so these hungry herbivores can rid the area of plants without using harmful chemicals.

And their fecal matter adds rich nutrients back into the soil.

The conservancy said the goats will be campaigning to be the G.O.A.T. as voted on by the public using the park's ranked choice voting system, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the recent New York City mayoral primary.

"Our ranked choice voting system will go off without a hitch and the GOAT will be crowned without any confusion or controversy by the end of the summer," Riverside Park Conservancy President & CEO Dan Garodnick said. "We encourage New Yorkers to come meet the "Fabulous Five" in person and to pay attention to our social media channels as the goats roll out their platforms."

The goats are:

- Skittles, a seasoned park veteran, finalist for the G.O.A.T. title in 2019
- Buckles, a popular cheerleader for the Park, sometimes struggles to distinguish porcelain berry from mugwort
- Chalupa, keeps his head down, ate through the park in 2019, some say not exciting but works hard to get the job done
- Mallemar, known to be truly idealistic, a booster of all goats, lover of all park visitors
- Ms. Bo Peep, newcomer to the scene, a wildcard

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