Want to hug a tiger cub on your holiday?  Bad places still allow it.

Ismat Tahseen Jan 21, 2012, 12.00AM IST
(Tiger, tiger: Arjan Bajwa at a petting zoo in Bangkok)


With picnic areas, quiet fences with docile sheep, filling pails with grain to feed horses and collecting eggs from a chicken house, there’s much fun to be had at a petting zoo. No wonder then, that it’s on most people’s vacation itinerary…

‘I cuddled tiger cubs’ For actor Arjan Bajwa, visiting a petting zoo was something he won’t forget in a hurry. Having taken time off from a work schedule in Bangkok, Arjan went to the Crocodile Park and had a fun time there. “I love to visit zoos wherever I go. Just observing animals is so interesting. The tiger is my favourite animal and I got the chance to cuddle tiger cubs just as you would cuddle a pet cat or dog. The cubs were vaccinated, plus the trainer was around, so it was fine,” he states. The experience made him feel like a child. “I’ll cherish the moments I spent there forever. This photo (above) is a favourite and my friends say they would also like to get photographed with tiger cubs!”

5 petting zoos that exploit wild animals for petting displays

Central Park, NY: Located in the Central Park Zoo, the Tisch Children’s Zoo has a petting zoo and an ‘Enchanted Forest’. One can learn about pets, chill out with amphibians and watch penguins being fed.

Tanglewood Farm, Georgia: One of the world’s largest petting zoos, this place has more than 100 animals that you can pet, feed and play with. There are miniature goats, donkey, sheep and livestock. Kids can take grooming lessons and go on excursions.

Franklin Zoo, Auckland: From wildly-coloured cockatoos who love to talk to you, to deer, zebras, lemurs and emu, you’ll find a bunch of interesting animals here.

St Louis Zoo, Missouri: Want to watch animal sculptures or take a train ride in a park? Do so here, along with other activities at this large petting zoo. Apart from feeding the animals, the staff members also allow visitors to ask questions about the birds, snakes and frogs.

Tiger Paw Exotics, Ontario: At the Tiger Paw Exotics in Ontario expect some unusual fun. You can feed the goats, illama and sheep as well as meet other animals and get know-how of their country and how they live. One may go on pony rides and they also teach folks about the conservation of wildlife here.