Day at the Zoo
Sundance Kids Farms visits the Warren Public Library
Lions and tigers and bears? Oh my, no. It was more like hedgehogs and rabbits and Patagonian cavies on Wednesday in Warren.
People of all ages gathered to pet, feed and ask tons of questions as they visited a hodgepodge of animals on Wednesday. Sun Dance Kids Farm brought a wide variety of animals to visit on the lawn at Warren Public Library. The farm, located in New York, is home to many animals that travel to different locations to provide programs and petting zoos.
Among the animals visitors at the library got to observe, pet and feed were some common to a farm and some not so much. Young and old alike got up close and personal with goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, tortoises of various sizes, hedgehogs, prairie dogs and even a Patagonian cavy.
The Patagonian cavy is a distant relative to guinea pigs and somewhat resembles a cross between a rabbit and a small deer. They have small, compressed feet that make them resemble hooves from a distance and longer ears resembling those of a rabbit.
The cavy at the library on Wednesday was calm and receptive to the mounds of attention he got from many young admirers. Other animals also seemed quite accustomed to being surrounded by inquisitive visitors.
Several small tortoises shared an open enclosure that allowed lots of touching of their shells. A few of the youngest touchers also tried to get a hold of the strawberries intended for tortoise-only consumption. Adults in the crowd were quick to prevent young ones from sharing the berries. One young visitor loudly noted, “Look, mom, he’s walking right through his food.” That revelation seemed to deter any further mishaps.
It was equally as fascinating to watch as a large tortoise moseyed his way across the enclosure right past the tempting strawberries to an apple. He pushed the apple around for a while before he finally latched on and sunk the pointy edges of his mouth in. “He did it,” exclaimed a young boy who seemed surprised to see a chunk of missing apple. Maybe the boy knew that tortoises don’t technically have teeth.
Goats of all sizes had no trouble eating pretty much anything offered to them. One of the tallest in the tribe helped himself to the maple leaves that hung overhead, but not without using the sides of the enclosure as a ladder and stretching as far as he could.
Questions were abundant as the youngest visitors made their way around each enclosure. Many adults managed to avoid commitment as they heard, “But he’s so cuuuute. Can we get one?” The adults also avoided any in-depth explanations to the question — “How do you know if it’s the mommy or daddy bunny?”
Once animals were sufficiently touched and fed, many went into the library for activities and possibly to check out some books to answer some of the days’ questions.