Manhattan cathedral uses sheep to mow the grass

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It's an odd sight to see, roaming in a graveyard smack in the middle of Little Italy — sheep!

"We have three sheep, Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth," said Frank Alfieri, who is the communications director for Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, of the sheep, named after neighborhood streets.

The sheep have invaded the grassy enclosed graveyard and, at first, were a bit camera shy.  It turns out they were just busy working.

"Our groundskeeper retired, and the monsignor said, 'Oh, what are we going to do? Get Sheep?"

Alfieri tells PIX11 that after the groundskeeper called it quits, sheep seemed like a logical answer to trimming the grass, since much of the money being spent on upkeep is going toward the Cathedral renovations.   Not to mention that sheep are the most mentioned animal in the Bible, so it's all very fitting.

So, the three sheep arrived in May and got right to work.

" The grass was about 10 inches," said Alfieri. "They came in and they did their job."

Families are "flocking" to Mulberry Street to catch a glimpse and take pictures.    But, that's not the only thing that is hanging out in this tiny space.

​"It's bees without borders," says Alfieri.

Turns out, the worldwide population of bees is actually dropping and so is the honey they make.  So, the church has launched its own beekeeping effort to help out.

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