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PORTSMOUTH -- The City of Portsmouth purchased 10 goats and 10 sheep last year to help maintain the lawn at the Craney Island landfill, but officials now say it's too much for the animals to handle.

Dennis Bagley, director of general services for the city, said the animals are being used as part of a pilot program to save money on landscaping.

'We contracted out the cutting of the landfill and it was $12,000 for one cutting and we were looking at having to do that six different times,' said Bagely.

The city previously told 13News Now they would purchase ten goats at about $70 each and $5,000 worth of fencing, compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment for mowing.

But after one year and two goats dying from parasites, Bagley says the landfill is too large for the animals to maintain.

'We've got about 125 acres here. Our estimate after watching the goats for the first year, it would take well over 1,000 goats to be able to do the entire landfill,' said Bagley.

Bagley said the animals are useful for smaller portions of land. And they'll continue to use the ones they currently have while seeking alternative methods to maintain the landfill.

Craney Island is used to dispose of construction and demolition debris, like wood and trees.

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