Goats slip past security fence near NYC bridge

09:38, 07 August 2008
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"Weapons of grass destruction" penetrate heavily guarded transportation site

It was a report calculated to send chills through those charged with anti-terrorist vigilance in New York City: Bearded intruders secretly penetrate heavily guarded transportation site, according to AP.

But it turned out the would-be trespassers were goats imported by the National Park Service to clean up poison ivy and other unwanted weeds at historic Fort Wadsworth, a 200-year-old Revolutionary War rampart on Staten Island near the Verrazano Bridge.

Brian Feeney, a park service spokesman, said the goats are brought down yearly from a farm near Rhinebeck, N.Y., and escaped about two weeks ago.

According to officials, the dozen goats or, as the Daily News described them, "weapons of grass destruction" managed to slip under a metal fence separating the fort from bridge property, without setting off electronic alarms or sensors installed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to guard against intruders.

In a statement, the MTA`s Bridge and Tunnel Division said the fence was not actually part of the bridge protection system, and because the animals did not get past a second, more formidable fence that is, "there was no security breach" affecting the bridge which spans New York harbor between Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The goats were spotted by a human bridge guard, rounded up and put back in their pen at Fort Wadsworth, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area managed by the park service.


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