By Aimee Nielson
College of Kentucky
Sweet Pea and Snappy have been entertaining and educating Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden visitors for extra than a ten years, but it is practically summer time and summer time is scorching. These two English babydoll sheep have been carrying a hefty load and overdue for a shearing.
Mary Abbott, team leader for the Cincinnati Children’s Zoo, Red Pandas and Roo Valley, has worked at the zoo for additional than 30 years. The crew routinely direct the sheep around the zoo to meet up with website visitors and educate them about wool. But she claimed locating somebody to shear the sheep has been a obstacle, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, so she and her staff resorted to shearing the sheep on their own.
“We are not skilled shearers and our curator advised we call the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to see if we could come across an individual,” she said.
By the extension connections, the zoo located Regina Utz, a Kentucky 4-H alumna and new Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for agriculture and all-natural assets in Trimble County.
Utz grew up in 4-H exhibiting sheep and rabbits as nicely as beef cattle, dairy cattle, ducks, goats and hogs. She was honored to vacation to Cincinnati to assist Sweet Pea and Snappy drop their thick, wool coats.
“These two sheep seem like they will be super chill and I imagine they’ll be really straightforward,” Utz stated prior to beginning the job. “Their wool is a small extensive, but with a very little time, we’ll get it cleaned up and have no issues.”
Utz enlisted the enable of her sister Renora Utz and Cincinnati Children’s Zoo staffer Remy Romaine. Regina Utz stated most sheep need to have at minimum a single haircut for each year, possibly two.
“We like to do it in early spring and then a very little little bit later in the center of the summer season,” Regina Utz said.
Abbott and her colleagues have been pleased to view the transformation unfold.
“We are definitely thrilled to understand from Regina,” Abbott mentioned. “She’s in there washing sheep ideal now and she’s blowing our thoughts simply because just about every sheep shearer we have labored with has reported they have to be dry. So, Regina now is exhibiting us something new. My total group is right here just to observe and inquire issues. And we’re just seriously excited that we have this option to perform with (Uk College or university of Agriculture, Meals and Atmosphere) to aid our sheep get haircuts this year.”
Abott reported Sweet Pea and Snappy look remarkable and will be equipped to proceed being zoo ambassadors with a very little additional pep in their phase.