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Goats penetrate fence at heavily guarded base of Verrazano Bridge

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Goats penetrate fence at heavily guarded base of Verrazano Bridge

By Alison Gendar, Veronika Belenkaya and Pete Donohue

Daily News Staff Writers

August 5th 2008

 

alg_bridge.jpg

Bailey/AP

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a potential terrorist target - and adjacent grazing land

 

Watch out for these weapons of grass destruction.

 

Goats grazing on National Park Service land at Staten Island's Fort Wadsworth managed to do what terrorists wished they could: They sneaked under a fence onto a restricted area near the base of the Verrazano Bridge - without triggering alarms, sources said.

 

The MTA has invested a small fortune in police overtime, barricades, sensors, intrusion alarms and surveillance cameras to protect its property against trespassers.

 

All that technology couldn't detect the four-legged intruders, which were ultimately spotted by a Bridge and Tunnel officer in a guard booth.

 

"He must have thought he was hallucinating," said David Taft, acting assistant superintendent of the Park Service's Staten Island Unit.

 

[float=right]amd_goat.jpg

Fevelo for News

Threats of prosecution didn't deter these

goats from wandering into a restricted area

at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island (below).

[/float]"The goats were taken into custody and turned over to the Army once it was determined not to be illegal aliens or agents of terror," said a source.

 

The ravenous ruminants apparently thought the grass was greener on the other side of a mesh hurricane fence and shimmied underneath.

 

Several posted signs warn that trespassing is not permitted and that "property is protected by electronic surveillance."

 

One section of the fence runs along the goats' pen and forms one of its sides. The 13 goats, all yearlings, found a weak spot and exploited it, Taft said.

 

But breathe easy, New York.

 

[float=right]amd_fence.jpg

Fevelo for News[/float]The animals didn't get through a more formidable second line of defense about 10 feet away - a thick metal interior fence topped with razor wire that protects the bridge's base.

 

Transit officials declined to discuss bridge security in detail but released a statement suggesting the goats might have triggered alarms if they had broken through the second fence.

 

"The goats penetrated an outer chain-link fence that is not part of the bridge's security perimeter; there was no security breach nor system failure," the Bridge and Tunnel Division said in a statement. "Our employees did a great job corralling the goats."

 

The goats are posted at the fort in the summer and fall to eat poison ivy, weeds and other vegetation that gets into cracks of the historic structures, causing them to crumble.

 

The nimble but mischievous animals are easier on the environment than work crews stomping around with gas-powered tools, the Park Service has concluded. This is the second year that goats from an upstate farm have been enlisted for duty at the fort, Taft said.

 

"They are super-affectionate, but they always like to look for greener pastures," Taft said. "They don't always find them on the other side."

 

In fact, Taft said they were "visibly relieved" when they were put back where they belonged, as the vegetation wasn't as lush as they apparently hoped.

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the city shouldn't say anything about this 'cause then its on the internet, terriorist didn't even know back then. and now they know thanks a lot. u know they're gonna sneak in one way or another.

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the city shouldn't say anything about this 'cause then its on the internet, terriorist didn't even know back then. and now they know thanks a lot. u know they're gonna sneak in one way or another.

 

A traffic accident would cause far more disruption than some people sneaking under a fence.

 

- Andy

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