“I told him not to touch the fence,” said Kimberly Keo, “you will get shocked.”
Keo was referring to the electric fence that separated the parents and kids from the many goats grazing on an Encanto property on the corner of Imperial Avenue and 61st Street.
On June 27, Moises the groundskeeper, was adding an additional perimeter fence to the annual neighborhood-spectacle across the street from the trolley stop.
“Are we able to pet them?” asked one kid. “Can we go up the hill, inside?” asked another.
“No-No-No,” Moises responded.
He said he was bombarded with questions the whole day as he trimmed the bush by the sidewalks with a weed whacker and as he installed the new three-foot-tall perimeter fence. He also admitted that his “English was not good.” (Much of the interview had to be translated from Spanish).
“I am installing this (additional fence) because the kids and parents are getting too close,” he said, “and they don’t listen.”
“No, no toca (don’t touch),” he said to a kid and his parent attempting to take a selfie with one of the goats sticking his/her head through the fence.
“That happens a lot,” he said. The 20 or so spectators were constantly distracting the animals from their legitimate purpose on the property.
“The goats clear all the vegetation on the hillside,” said Rob Cervantes from the San Diego Fire Department, “if it's bare like that, there is no fire hazard.”
Cervantes was on standby with his firetruck across the street. The SDFD rents a spot from the Carpenters Association here to garage their gear. “It’s a win-win situation, the two hundred and fifty goats get to eat, and the hillside brush gets cleared,” he said, “imagine how much it would cost to get a crew of people here, and a power-mower cannot go up that steep grade.”
Earlier this week, despite the rise in temperatures and humidity, many curious onlookers pulled over, parked their cars, and watched the goats. While interviewing Moises one thing was obvious at one of San Diego’s busiest streets: the influx of lookie-loos pulling over caused a slight delay in traffic going all ways, and some rubberneckers driving were witnessed pulling out their smartphones recording the goings-ons. “These goats can be a traffic hazard,” said one of the parents.
“… but many of the kids and parents don’t listen,” Moises said; hence the extra fence that he was posting up.
Keo agreed with Moises and said that many residents thought that the private lot which is allegedly owned by one of the nearby churches; was actually a petting zoo.
Like the other parents, Keo took selfies with her kids and the goats and the two dogs in the background. “The dogs are here to lead them back up, right?” she questioned.
Moises said that the guide dogs lead them down too, and also protect the goats from other lurkers, “the coyotes will bite though this fence – even if it’s electric.”
Moises added that at times there were up to 50 people lined along the Imperial and 61st adjoining sidewalks and that the electric fence does not hurt when touched. “Mira, buzzzzzzzzz,” he said.
By 3:00 p.m., on June 28, Moises had completely installed the second three-foot perimeter fence. Because his new crowd-control installation was doing its job, he no longer had to supervise the crowd, as much. He was seen weed whacking the brush to the west of the property.