Close en­coun­ters of the an­i­mal kind

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Rural Day -

Zip­pity Zoo will be de­light­ing the kids as they en­joy and ex­pe­ri­ence an in­ter­ac­tive fun ses­sion of touch­ing, hold­ing and feed­ing an­i­mals in Manch­ester Square on Oc­to­ber 13.

Zoo keeper Bev­erly Dowl­ing de­scribes it as a tsunami of energy from peo­ple want­ing to share their sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ence the big and small an­i­mals that she brings to Feild­ing’s Ru­ral Day.

‘‘They love to get up close and per­sonal.’’

The mo­bile pet­ting zoo has been one of the most pop­u­lar at­trac­tions at Feild­ing’s Ru­ral Day for the last five years.

‘‘It’s a unique, fun and ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence with a va­ri­ety of farm an­i­mals. It’s sur­pris­ing, we live in a coun­try full of sheep, but so many New Zealan­ders have never been near a sheep.’’

The big­ger an­i­mals such as the goats and sheep are penned and taken out for walks dur­ing the day. But as Bev­erly says, ‘‘It’s a heck of a lot of peo­ple and it can be too much for the lit­tle guys to han­dle.’’

The lit­tle guys she’s re­fer­ring to are the guinea pigs, rab­bits and chick­ens.

‘‘I take turns in get­ting them out, so it’s pot luck who we have out each time, but if you keep com­ing back through­out the day, chances are you’ll see all the dif­fer­ent an­i­mals.’’

‘‘The guinea pigs are the rock stars!’’

Ev­ery­one goes ‘‘wow’’ with the big an­i­mals, but at the end of the day it’s all about the guinea pigs.

‘‘Just cos they’re so cute and fluffy, nib­bling away at their lit­tle car­rots and leaves.’’

Look out for Ru­pert the Flem­ish Gi­ant Rab­bit who may make a spe­cial ap­pear­ance with his minia­ture show jumps.

Adults get just as wrapped up in the an­i­mals, ev­ery­one en­joys shar­ing their sto­ries, but par­ents are asked to keep an eye on their chil­dren and re­spect the an­i­mals be­cause they’re meet­ing a lot of peo­ple in a short amount of time.

‘‘Just a re­minder to peo­ple that they are en­ter­ing a wees, poos, teeth and hooves zone!’’

Chil­dren love pet­ting the an­i­mals, it’s the ul­ti­mate Ru­ral Day ex­pe­ri­ence that tick­les the senses, touch­ing, lis­ten­ing and watch­ing the an­i­mals just makes them feel good.

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