Thursday, 08 September 2011 08:48

Petting zoos a popular draw

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By Jamie Woodford
Lethbridge
Although parents may have been prepared to spend and arm and a leg for their children to enjoy all that Whoop-Up Days had to offer, some found one little corner of the family fair was more than enough entertainment for their little tykes.



Andi’s Petting Zoo, featured a variety of farm animals, and was a popular attraction at the fair.


A calf, pony, donkey, pig, rabbits and bunnies, goats and kids (not of the human variety), were on display to pet, feed and just enjoy.


“Some parents can’t get their kids out of there,” said zoo owner Yves Hoperapp. “Every zoo, there’s some kids that are here for a couple hours at a time. Then they go off for half an hour and they come back. The parents love it.”


Andi’s Petting Zoo, not to be confused with the Coaldale petting zoo, operates at different events throughout the summer. For Hoperapp, the venture is more of a hobby, but he enjoys watching children’s reactions when interacting with the animals.


“They all react differently. Some of the goats jump on (the children) to get the food, (the children) just cry, and others think it’s the funniest thing in the world,” he said.


Hoperapp, who lives in the Park Lake area, has been running the zoo for eight years with the help of his two daughters, one of which is named Andi, whom the zoo is named after.


He bought the zoo from Andy McCallum who had it for 30 years as McCallum’s Petting Zoo.


Getting ready for an event doesn’t take much work, according to Hoperapp. He said the animals don’t require much maintenance during a show.

 

“Other than the sheep — they just seem to get dirty,” he chuckled.

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