Sheep Shearing at the Zoo (video)

By Sandy Masuo

Spring is time for sheep shearing at Muriel’s Ranch at the Los Angeles Zoo, and this year, the occasion was also an outreach opportunity for Zoo guests. Recently at the Zoo, Trevor Hollenback of Hollenback Shearing gave a demonstration at Adventure Theater in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo. Hollenback, who sheared the Zoo’s sheep last year also, first became interested in the trade when he observed professional shearing performed by one Norbert Stolz of Berrichon du Cher farm in Lower Austria’s Alpine foothills. Inspired, Trevor went on to study shearing and complete an apprenticeship in New Zealand, where sheep shearing is less of a trade and more like a subculture. He then started his own business.

For his Zoo demonstration, Trevor explained the various devices he uses to make the process more comfortable for him and the sheep.

“Trevor is very personable and articulate,” comments Senior Animal Keeper Karen Poly. “His clear explanations really engaged the 350 or so guests who stopped to watch. Education Specialist Callie Smith also did a terrific job of interpreting the shearing for our observers.”