Tree-carvers provide out the beasts hidden in Abilene Zoo’s ash trees

A pair of lifeless ash trees frozen in the crippling chilly a calendar year in the past could – less than standard instances – be destined for the chopping block.

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

The zoo chose to make anything lovely, lasting and even educational out of the trees lost in the 2021 storm.

“Instead of cutting them completely down, the Abilene Zoo Society board and I decided to repurpose the trees into functions of art and conservation messaging,” said Jesse Pottebaum, the zoo’s director.

The do the job took 4 times, commencing Feb. 16 and ending Feb. 20.

Carving out conservation

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