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Tony the Pony and pals pay a call

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Cambridge Bay (May 26/03) - Farm animals invaded the old community hall in Cambridge Bay this month and as soon as they arrived, the line to see them started forming.

NNSL Photo

Colin Crockatt, 10, spent an afternoon with his family at the petting zoo in Cambridge Bay. His favourite animal was a hen named Godzilla. He hopes all the animals will come back next year for a visit. - photo courtesy of Kim Crockatt

Children of all ages, some of them for the first time, were anxious for the chance to touch a baby goat and brush a miniature horse.

"Some of the kids had never smelled, touched or heard a farm animal before. It was great," said Kim Crockatt.

The Cambridge Bay resident brought her four youngest children to see the animals.

"There were goats and a pot belly pig. When you pet the pig the wrong way, it was all prickly. It was all black," said Colin Crockatt, 10.

Organizers said the event was such a success that they had to get people to do crowd control, allowing no more than 40 people in at a time.

Dawn Wilson, the principal at Kullik Ilihakvik, said all 240 students dropped in for "some special time with the animals.

"We talked about being gentle and about being responsible pet owners. We took the entire day," said Wilson.

One of the favourite animals was a miniature horse.

"I liked Tony the Pony," said Rebecca Rowan, 11. "They gave us a brush to brush him with. Everyone held rabbits and even baby goats. They were a week old. The goat that I held was probably no bigger than your foot."

The animals arrived via Canadian North on May 12. They travelled all the way from the Thistle Hill Petting Farm in Edmonton.

"That's the first time we ever flew in those types of animals. There were no problems," explained John Kaiyogana of Canadian North in Cambridge Bay.

The petting zoo, organized by the community's fire department, was part of the annual Omingmak Frolics. It was the first time the farm animals were part of the event.

Peter Laube, Cambridge Bay's fire chief, came up with the idea after taking his children to the Storyland Valley Zoo in Edmonton last summer.

"The look on the kids' faces was just worth everything. Some of them came back nine or 10 times. We worked on it for about three months."