Goats take boat cruise on Chicago River thanks to ComEd

The views from the Chicago River draw in tourists by the boatload. Or on one very strange trip Wednesday, perhaps we should say "goat load."

About 20 goats got to take a river cruise on Chicago's Leading Lady with a team from ComEd.

"They're just out enjoying the city, they've been working hard down in the Pekin, Peoria area so we said take them out for a boat ride," said Tom Ringhofer, ComEd's Manager of Transmission Vegetation Management.

Apparently, they are animals at their day job, working for Com-Ed downstate where they clear vegetation in hard to reach areas near transmission lines.

"They clear 20 acres in about 20 days so they do about an acre a day, which is really, really good," Ringhofer said.

He says they earned a vacation day.


Hazel Elsberg, 11, was smitten with the animals. She's a daughter of a ComEd employee.

"I think first of all they're very cute definitely," she said.

But she knows they're more than a furry face. Their goat power is green energy.

"They're good for the environment and I think they're just a good idea," Elsberg said.

Besides a vacation day for goats, this was certainly a way for ComEd to show off its green initiatives.

"We want people to know that ComEd is environmentally friendly. We're looking at ways solutions to solve problems that are outside of the box," Ringhofer said.

Out of the box and now on a boat.

Elsberg sums up the trip by saying, "well, it's different and fun and I hope it's okay for the goats."

The sign on the side of the boat did say it is a "hot goat summer."