Beloved Abilene-area petting zoo owner dies at age 72

Local News

HAWLEY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A beloved Abilene-area petting zoo owner has died at age 72. 

Brenda May, who ran May Farm in Hawley, died of health complications Tuesday. She was in hospice care at the time of her passing. 

Children from across the Big Country would visit May Farm for field trips and birthday parties to learn about May’s 200-odd animals, from typical chickens, llamas, and ponies to more unique charges, such as a completely blind cow. 

May would also travel with her most patient pets, bringing a mobile petting zoo to schools and events around the region. 

In an interview with KRBC News in February, May said she would keep sharing her love of animals with children until the day she died. 

“Till I die, yeah I like it, it keeps you young thinking when you are dealing with children all the time you think young, you know what is going on so I love it,” May said. 

And she did just that. 

We spoke to a few members in the community who interacted with May. County Extension Agent Kit Horne said May had a connection with animals that was a sight to behold.

“It’s amazing,” said Horne. “When we would come in from a long night at the petting zoo, and she would start calling their names and talking to them, and they all responded, and she has a special story for every animal.”

Laresa Roemich, like many teachers throughout the Big Country, took her students to visit May Farm. Roemich and her kids visited for 15 consecutive years.
“Whether it was a good or bad day, whether it was raining and mud on the ground she was always perky and a happy and just loved the animals and let the kids love on all of her and the animals with her,” said Roemich.

Funeral arrangements for May are still pending. 

BigCountryHomepage will update this article as more information is released. 

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