CHICAGO (AP) — Goats, sheep, llamas and burros that helped clear vegetation around O’Hare International Airport this year are coming back in the spring.

The Chicago Department of Aviation said Monday that the animals are spending the winter at a no-kill shelter in Beecher. But the department says they’ll be back next year. The barnyard band helped maintain landscaping at up to 120 acres of land on four sites at O’Hare. They grazed at the airport from August through mid-November.

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Central Commissary Holdings’ contract for the pilot program runs through the end of next year. The maximum value of the contract is $100,000.

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The goal is to rid grounds of habitats for birds and other wildlife that can present a serious hazard to departing and landing aircraft.

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