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Virginia City's Landfill-Landscaping Program Ends With 16 Goats and Sheep Likely Dead 

click to enlarge One of the two remaining goats at Craney Island landfill in Portsmouth checks out a visitor on Aug 10, 2017. The female goats, called Thelma and Louise by landfill supervisor Chris Bower, like to hang out on a hill on the east end of the landfill. At one point the city had 10 goats and 10 sheep working to keep the vegetation down, but has now decided to end the program.

Vicki Cronis-Nohe

One of the two remaining goats at Craney Island landfill in Portsmouth checks out a visitor on Aug 10, 2017. The female goats, called Thelma and Louise by landfill supervisor Chris Bower, like to hang out on a hill on the east end of the landfill. At one point the city had 10 goats and 10 sheep working to keep the vegetation down, but has now decided to end the program.

Sixteen goats and sheep are likely dead less than three years after Portsmouth bought them to trim the grass at the Craney Island landfill.

The landscaping plan failed, its organizers are gone, and now administrators can’t account for most of the animals.

“We just haven’t been able to locate them,” said Erin Trimyer, the city’s director of public utilities. “I can’t tell you specifically if it was a coyote or what other wildlife is out there, but it is our assumption that the rest of the animals have passed away.”

At a work session last month, City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton suggested to council members that they had been killed by coyotes and “other wildlife.”

Only two nanny goats live there now, roaming free as the hardy vestiges of an expensive landscaping flop. Landfill supervisor Chris Bower, who inherited the animals from his predecessor, now watches over them by making sure they have the basics: fresh water, a healthy diet and shelter from the elements.

Learn more at PilotOnline.com

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