Close-up animal encounters

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 16, 2012 in Rat News | Subscribe

Rosie Linares/ Daily Journal
For the eighth year, the Ham Bone Express is putting on pig races at the fair. With racers like Britney Spare Rib, Lady Hoga and politician Anthony Wiener, pigs race in hopes of being the swiftest swine off the line.

Rosie Linares/ Daily Journal
Two-year-old Jenna McKevitt feeds a goat at the Great American Petting Zoo at the San Mateo County Fair.

“Can I touch it?” a little boy shouted while running toward a 2-month-old piglet running through the petting zoo Wednesday morning.

It was one of many animals children and adults were able to interact with at the Great American Petting Zoo. Running around in the free petting zoo were also goats, both big and small, along with ducks and kangaroos. Children seemed at ease with the animals all around, even when a goat would start sniffing at their clothing.

Three-year-old Matteo Tang, from San Bruno, was brushing a black goat who appeared to have become quite fond of the boy.

Sarah Michaelis, from Pacifica, was happy to see how much her 7-month-old son Hudson was enjoying the animals. She struggled however, with keeping the little ones hands out of his mouth after petting the animals.

Close-up encounters with all kinds of critters are available at the San Mateo County Fair, which runs through this weekend. From traditional farm animals to what can be found in the rainforest, children get a hands-on, close-up experience at this fair.

Don’t want to take on the petting zoo? Visit animals that are there to show. Git ‘R’ Done, a 256-pound pig, and Tatertot, weighing in at 230 pounds, may be just lying low. But they don’t mind visitors. In fact, some pigs love fans.

For the eighth year, the Ham Bone Express is putting on pig races at the fair. With racers like Britney Spare Rib, Lady Hoga and politician Anthony Wiener, pigs race in hopes of being the swiftest swine off the line.

This year, 21 little piggies are winning over the hearts of fair-goers by competing on the small track. Ever-growing crowds forced organizers to move the daily entertainment to an area with much more seating. Despite the extra seats, there still seems to be viewers struggling to watch the mini racers.

Children and adults alike cheered on the pink, brown and black pigs with pop culture and politically inspired names in hopes their favorite would be the wiener, er, winner.

These pigs don’t race for fame. These oinkers are racing for an Oreo cookie, said Ham Bone Express Owner Charlie Boger. Losers only get crumbs.

Naming the racers can be the most entertaining and time-relevant aspect of pig racing with inspiration coming from headlines and gossip-inspired sources.

If it’s more exotic critters piquing your interest, check out the Rainforest Adventure, which is expanded this year, said Fair Manager Matt Cranford.

Inside, children — and adults — took turns touching a tortoise, getting close to a hedgehog or listening to birds.

Eight-and-a-half-year-old Violet braved a scorpion to walk across her hands. It reminded the little girl of the feeling she gets when holding her pet rats Winter and EP, which stands for exclamation point.

The San Mateo County Fair runs through Sunday, June 17 at the San Mateo County Events Center, 2495 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo. It opens from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and noon to 10 p.m. on weekdays. The carnival will remain open until 11 p.m. nightly. General admission to the fair includes the show. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children 6 to 12 years old and seniors 62 years old and older; and kids under 5 are free. Parking is $10. For more information visit www.SanMateoCountyFair.com.

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: heather@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

Article source: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=236301&title=Close-up%20animal%20encounters

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