Sheep in Aurora protected from coyotes by most unusual method

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AURORA, Colo. -- There is a place in Aurora that time forgot. By design. It's the Plains Conservation Center.

Twelve-hundred acres of open space. Central short grass prairie. Home to pronghorn, eagles, mule deer, rabbits, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs and now, home to about 130 dorper sheep.

A dorper sheep is a haired sheep compared to a wool sheep. They shed all their hair in the springtime.

"They stimulate the grasses by grazing them. They break up the crust, improve moisture infiltration. We're trying to improve the health of the land," said Eric Watts, Aurora Parks and Recreation open space department manager.

Another animal that lives out on the Plains is the coyote.

And coyotes love to eat sheep, and that could be baaahhhhd. The sheep need protection.

That's where Paco and Maria come in. Not shepherds, not dogs. Matter of fact, they're a couple of donkeys.

"When we introduce the sheep and the donkeys together, they kind of made the sheep their own.  And if anything is attacking the sheep they will protect them," said Linus Leppink with Willow Creek Pastures.

It's an unexplainable bond, but it works. And the sheep know it.

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