PETTING ZOO - SETUP & DIRECTIONS
Supplies for the Petting Zoo Activity Booth:
Professional Petting Zoo company who will deliver gentle animals for children to pet
Petting Zoo Set Up:
Months before your carnival, contact several companies and choose the best company to deliver a fun petting zoo for the day of your big event!
Plan an area that is shaded or partially shaded – this is best for the animals and the children. Also, be sure the petting zoo owner has access to water and shade for the animals as mentioned above.
Post signs that say “No Food Allowed In Petting Zoo” – sweets like cotton candy can make animals aggressive - see the note below.
How to Run the Petting Zoo Booth:
This booth may just be a break even booth if it is not donated – be sure to charge at least one dollar equivalent in tickets for children to pet the animals.
Important - don't forget to verify that the petting zoo has current business insurance - ask for the phone number to the insurance company to make sure their coverage is up to date.
In addition, check references to make sure other schools or local events were happy with their service! A good question to ask is "What action is taken if an animal is aggressive or just not feeling well?" and see how the company responds.
Additional Hints & Tips:
Biting Donkey Story - Many years ago at our school carnival petting zoo, my son was nipped by a young donkey who thought his shirt was cotton candy. He was fine, but later we found out that 2 others people had been bit before he was! It turns out, that the donkey had become quite fond of sweet treats after a few children had brought cotton candy too close to the Petting Zoo Booth and he got his first taste of the sweet stuff! From that point on, anyone wearing a light colored shirt (that could be mistaken for the cotton candy) was nipped as as the donkey was looking for more sweets!
The petting zoo was a new business and did not have their policies in place for the workers to understand how to handle problems with the animals. The next year, we choose a well known petting zoo with experience in dealing with animals.
Of course, you want to keep kids healthy after visiting an animal exhibit. Click to see the animal exhibit guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.