Goats go on the lam from a park in San Francisco, head for Ghirardelli Square

VIDEO | 00:47
A herd of goats wanders through San Francisco

Video taken by Steven Hing shows San Francisco police herding a group of goats through the city.


A herd of working goats walked off the job Friday in San Francisco, blocking traffic as they wandered in the city streets.

On Friday morning, the herd had been grazing on a hillside in Francisco Park in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, clearing out poison oak and other plants to help reduce fire risk, said Tamara Barak Aperton, a spokesperson with San Francisco Recreation and Parks.

At around 8 a.m., park staff saw that the 40 or so goats had escaped their fenced area and were “running around where they shouldn’t have been,” Barak Aperton said in an interview with The Times.


The herd, which did not appear panicked or bothered, nearly made its way to Ghirardelli Square, about half a mile from where the goats started.

Along the way, they stopped traffic and nibbled on anything they could find.

In one video shared on the neighborhood app Nextdoor, the herd can be seen being coaxed back up a hill tailed by San Francisco police vehicles.

A 2-month-old female puppy is recovering from injuries apparently suffered after being thrown while inside a crate.

April 21, 2023

Three parks employees worked to corral the goats.

“They are not goat herders by trade, but they sort of ran around behind them and started clapping, and they were able to herd them about three blocks to where the park was,” Barak Aperton said.

An employee with City Grazing, the company that owns the goats, lured them back to safety using a bale of hay.

Barak Aperton said it was unclear how the goats escaped their enclosure but noted that, before the escape, a man had been seen looking “like he wanted to go frolic with the goats.”

Later, the fencing was found damaged, but Barak Aperton was unsure if it had been tampered with or if it had come apart.


“But someone was very curious about them earlier that day,” Barak Aperton said.

All of the goats were returned safely and without incident — except for a resident who complained that the goats had defecated in their yard, Barak Aperton said.

“It’s funny because yesterday was for 4/20, and we had this enormous event with like 20,000 stoners descending on Golden Gate Park. And I thought ... if someone got rowdy, it would be there,” Barak Aperton said. “But it turns out it was these goats.”