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Tree-carvers convey out the beasts concealed in Abilene Zoo’s ash trees

A pair of dead ash trees frozen in the crippling cold a yr in the past may – beneath usual conditions – be destined for the chopping block.

But at the Abilene Zoo, it is additional of a circle-of-existence tale.

The zoo chose to make a thing lovely, lasting and even instructional out of the trees missing in the 2021 storm.

“Instead of chopping them fully down, the Abilene Zoo Society board and I resolved to repurpose the trees into operates of art and conservation messaging,” said Jesse Pottebaum, the zoo’s director.

The function took 4 days, commencing Feb. 16 and ending Feb. 20.

Carving out conservation

Enter Ray Banfield Jr. of Granbury, together with two fellow artists – Jimmy Hobbs of Grand Saline and Justin Driver of Farmington, Kentucky.