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Four sheep mow grass at Paris' archives

April 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

PARIS, April 7 (UPI) -- City officials in Paris said they purchased four black sheep to serve as lawn mowers and chew away at the grass in a patch of land near the city's archives.

The sheep -- a small Breton breed called Ouessant -- are meant to be an alternative to mechanical lawn mowers, which guzzle gas, and herbicides in what city hall officials are calling "eco-grazing."

The archivists had initially asked for a donkey to chew down the grass in the patch of land, but the sheep were deemed more appropriate, The New York Times reported.

Rene Dutrey, the adjunct mayor for environmental and sustainable development said the sheep cost the city $335.

"This is really not a one-shot deal," he said, explaining the sheep would remain in the patch of land until October.

The 2-foot-high animals are being protected by a 3-foot-high electrified fence to keep the city's dogs from harming them, the Times reported.

Residents, though, have been encouraged to come visit the animals and take a look at the city's archives while they're at it.

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