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January 09, 2014

Like The Honey Badger, Petting Zoo Animals Dont Care

Scientific American - Posted: January 9th, 2014, 9:15am EST
p /ppWhen I was a kid, my parents took me and my brother a few times a year to a place called Tampa Horses (which was on Tampa Avenue in LA#8217;s San Fernando Valley, not in Florida). We got to ride horses as they walked in circles around a corral #8211; which I assume is only fun to a six year old child #8211; and we got to touch animals in the petting zoo. I think you could buy a bag of food to feed the goats, and you were free to pet or groom them. I loved it as a kid, but in the intervening decades, I#8217;ve come to revile the petting zoo. For one thing, they smell terrible. For another, it seems like an open invitation for some nasty little kid to harass an animal by chasing it around, pulling on its tail, or teasing it. Domesticated animals, which tend to be the ones found in petting zoos, may tolerate human presence in a way that more exotic species don#8217;t, but that doesn#8217;t mean that their welfare isn#8217;t negatively impacted by living in a petting zoo. Or so I thought. Recent research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science has challenged my assumption./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=like-the-honey-badger-petting-zoo-animals-dont-care[More]/a

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