When we first walked past the petting zoo, located in a large building near the International Food Village, we decided not to go in because of the large line. However, once we realized it was moving quite quickly, we jumped in line and were in the zoo within ten minutes. Really, who can resist small animals?
Like all petting zoos, they were selling food for the animals at a small cost. The kids were, as usual, going crazy over this, but we bypassed the counter, wanting only to see the baby animals, possibly take a few pictures, and then leave again.
Perhaps not buying food was not the best idea. None of the animals in the
zoo would pay attention to us at all. I attempted to take pictures with a ridiculous number of cows and goats, all to no avail. As soon as I would grab one and Michelle got in place with a camera, it would see a food-toting child and take off, often with my arms still around its neck. Even though I didn’t get a picture, the laughs were still worth it!
We saw plenty of the usual suspects; there were baby emus, piglets and goats that
elicited plenty of "aww"s. One of the goats was particularly adorable, since his fur was perfectly divided in half-the front half of his body was black & and the back half white. He was tiny too--so tiny that he couldn't reach over the top of the food trough so he instead jumped in!
My strongest memory of the petting zoo is that of the turkeys. These were real, American, plumped-up Thanksgiving dinner turkeys, and they were not very happy at all. One had escaped his wooden, fenced-in prison and was standing outside the cage of another, angrily gobbling at him. Every few seconds, one would attack, leading to a fury of pecking followed by a “licking” of wounds. The best part of the whole spectacle was not seeing both birds trying to defeather the other; rather, it was seeing the children and their parents’ reactions. The children would walk over and see the free turkey, flared feathers and all, and yell something along the lines of “Wow, Mum, look at that!” To this, the parents would invariably say, “Go pet the nice turkey!” Either they had been at the Ekka way too long and had just had enough of their children’s nagging to buy them everything, or they just really wanted to visit the hospital. One child was even petting the “nice turkey” when the other one attacked and started trying to yank out its gizzard!
Luckily, no children got hurt and an Ekka volunteer snuck in and placed the turkey back in his proper cage. However, this wasn’t before the turkeys made it one of the most interesting (and violent) visits to a petting zoo that I’d ever had!