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California

Hundreds of sheep flock to baaackyard party

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About 200 sheep invited themselves into the Russo family’s backyard last week. The ordeal lasted about five minutes, but the creatures left behind a lingering barn smell.
(Scott Russo )

A Northern California family was recently left counting sheep after a couple hundred of the woolly creatures flocked into their backyard.

The Russo family from Lincoln, a suburb northeast of Sacramento, had just wanted to sneak a peek at the nearby sheep, which are employed annually to graze on vegetation before the start of the state’s fire season.

Scott Russo opened the gate to give his young daughters a close-up of the animals munching on grassland behind their home. But the sheep had another idea and stormed into the Russos’ party-light-studded backyard, which the family captured on video.

“Oh no! Out of the yard … Get off my lawn!” Russo exclaimed to the uninvited guests. But the confused flock seemed determined to stay.

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“When we opened the gate, we stuck our heads out, and three and four popped in … then five, then 10,” Russo said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Four-year-old Jewel charged out of the house yelling, “I got this!” Russo recalled. But her efforts didn’t amount to much.

The Russos then tried to corral the creatures, but that didn’t work either.

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Finally Erin Russo, Scott’s wife, had another idea. She grabbed her daughter’s tambourine and started jumping on a trampoline in the yard, shaking the percussive instrument at the sheep.

That did the trick.

With Scott Russo’s prodding, the unwelcome visitors filed out of the tiny gate, leaving the impromptu party they had crashed.

The entire ordeal lasted no more than five minutes, Russo said.

“I was so amused by the entire situation. But when I was done laughing, I then realized it was out of control,” he said.

Nearly a week after the sheep invasion, Russo said their yard still smells like a barn.

“And they flattened the new pool we had just gotten,” he said. “But our yard is fertilized, so that’s cool.”

dorany.pineda@latimes.com

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Twitter: @DoranyPineda90


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