Goats still
A video (see below) showing hundreds of hard-working goats crossing Centennial Drive in the Berkeley hills has gone viral. Video still: David Stein

A herd of grass-munching goats swarmed across Cyclotron Road in the Berkeley Hills last week on the way to another plant-clearing mission below Blackberry Gate.

The goats are part of Berkeley Lab’s vegetation management plan to trim abundant grasslands and reduce fire hazards.

Read more about animals in Berkeley.

Berkeley Lab posted a video of the goats on the move to its Facebook page on June 12. The video was shot by Lab employee David Stein (while he was apparently listening to KQED radio!). It proved so popular that it has been viewed more than 2 million times on Facebook since then, helped no doubt by the fact that Berkeleyside reposted it to its Facebook page, and it was then picked up by other media, including NBC, CNN and the Huffington Post. (Watch the video below the fold.)

According to Berkeley Lab, a full-time grass herder monitors the happily feasting goats as they whittle the grass down, making sure they are in the appropriate green areas. The herder, along with his dogs, moves 800 goats from one hillside location to the next, as evidenced in the video.

Goats at Berkeley LabGoats gone wild!We utilize goats at the lab in order to keep our grasses short and reduce fire hazards. In this video the goats are being herded (wait for dog at end) to the tree laden hill just below our Blackberry Gate.Video: David Stein, Berkeley Lab employeeGoats: Goats R Us Company

Posted by Berkeley Lab on Friday, June 12, 2015

While munching goats are a fairly common sight in the East Bay, a few Berkeley residents (and our readers) have contacted us with their own conspiracy theories.

Check out a schedule of where and when goats will be grazing this summer. (Hat tip: David Killilea.)

Goats take over Berkeley hills, but what is their intent? (06.05.2015)
Goats reduce fire hazards in the Berkeley hills (07.11.11)

Emily Dugdale, a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a summer intern at Berkeleyside. 

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Emily Dugdale is a journalist and graduate student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. She previously lived in Oakland and contributed to local news publications...