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Beloved Brattleboro ox, Carlos, is laid to rest at 18 years old

A photo of a brown ox with horns set against a blue sky
Josh Steele Photography
Carlos the Ox, pictured here last month at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, has died. He was 18.

A gentle giant — born and raised on a farm in Brattleboro — has died after nearly 19 years of greeting and entertaining visitors.

Carlos the Ox was often the first animal folks would see when visiting Retreat Farm.

Executive Director Kristin Sullivan says he was much more than a mascot.

"He was about 2,000 pounds, you know, 7 feet tall, but the gentlest ox," Sullivan says. "He would come right over to the fence when people came to see him, and he loved attention... I swear, especially kids."

Carlos was born in 2005 to one of the last of Retreat Farm's dairy cows. He developed debilitating arthritis, and the farm decided to put him down now rather than face another harsh Vermont winter.

Sullivan says the public responded just hours after the news was announced today.

"There are over 300 people that have reacted to the Facebook post, and I have been getting so many emails from people sharing memories and photos," Sullivan says. "And it's really... made me rather emotional losing Carlos, but to see how much he touched so many peoples' lives is really amazing."

A celebration of Carlos' life will be held at Retreat Farm this April, marking the month he was born.

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A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.