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Orange County Focus

SANTA ANA : Zoo Spins a Big Yarn About Sheep

April 22, 1993|MIMI KO

Mama, Tiny and four of their friends weren't expecting to have their entire bodies shaved Wednesday when they stepped into Lew Flory's beauty salon.

But without any warning, Flory stripped them of all their hair.

It was all in a day's work for the sheep shearer as he fleeced the tangled wool off six sheep at the Santa Ana Zoo.

About 1,100 children from 24 elementary schools throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties watched the exhibition meant to teach them where wool comes from and how sheep get haircuts.

The young students were also treated to a lesson in yarn making. A weaving club from Sun City showed the wide-eyed students how to spin and weave the wool into yarn and thread.

They were fascinated by the whole process, said Kent Yamaguchi, the zoo's curator of education. "And the sheep didn't seem to mind."

Godzilla, a 300-pound Suffolk, remained calm as the animal received a haircut. A smaller Suffolk kicked but the other sheep seemed unconcerned. The sheep, ranging in age from 3 to 13 years, each had two to six inches of wool cut off.

The haircut "makes them much more comfortable, especially with summer approaching," Yamaguchi said.

"Children never really see where yarn comes from," he said. "Now, they know."

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