Sheep sculptures stolen from Rancho San Rafael Park

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 2:49 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Two empty cement pads used to display two sheep at Rancho San Rafael Park. Part of the Nevada Farms and Families portion of the park, they were located in the Basque History Area.

“They are a tribute to the Basque sheep herder,” says Celia Walker, park ranger at Rancho San Rafael Park. “This whole area has the brick oven. The covered wagon. The sheep aspen. Everything here is related to the Basque Culture. So, this is where they belong.”

In a picture posted by Walker on Facebook, the models show two sheep, one adult, one a lamb. They are painted to look realistic.

Ranger Walker says they were a great addition to the park. Kids loved to play on them. She can trace their arrival here to approximately 17 years ago.

She says researching their cost, it would take about $2,000 dollars to replace them. That’s just something the park cannot afford. She was the one who discovered their absence here on November 1, 2022 in the morning hours.

She’s not sure if it was a Halloween joke, but the humor has worn off.

“People in the park are very upset,” says Ranger Walker. “They are all asking where are the sheep? Do we know? Have they been returned yet? People are pretty passionate about them.”

Ranger Walker says she’s not sure where the two models originally came from or who donated them to Rancho San Rafael Park. What’s more important, making the exhibit complete again--telling the story of the Basque people in our area, and the significance the animals have in it.

Secret Witness is offering a $750 dollar reward for the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the theft of the sheep models. Callers can remain anonymous.

Call 775-329-4900 if you have any information.