How To Survive a Petting Zoo Outing

So, you’re going to a petting zoo. Wow, are you sure you can’t get out of it? Maybe a friend dared you. Maybe you lost a bet. Maybe you want to prove something to yourself. Whatever the reason, I can help you survive. I’ve been there too. I made it out alive (seven times!) and so can you.

These are actually small versions of a type of bird called a duck (also very dangerous). Their bright yellow colouring makes them easy to spot from a distance. They tend to swarm on visitors, but they can be outrun. Unlike the adult versions, they cannot fly.

These terrifying creatures actually do have horns on their heads, and will use them to maim and destroy anything human-shaped. When goats are near, never let a single one out of your line of sight. They like to attack from the rear, so be wary and try to keep your back against a wall or tree.

Sheeps are like goats, but minus the horns. Their larger bodies can trample tougher and stronger voyagers than you, my friend. Do not underestimate. Their younglings, known as lambs, are quicker and very difficult to see against white backgrounds, so be vigilant if you notice that particular colour.

Shetland Horsies:
These mighty beasts were once tamed by elf-armies, if you would believe the likes of JRR Tolkien or George RR Martin, but nowadays, in the real world, coming within 50 metres is near to a death sentence. They kill and rarely maim, so at least your death will be swift. If you are not alone, take turns to scan the horizon for their dark, dark silhouettes.

Run when you hear their hoarse, honking cries.

See gooses.

Chickens and Ducks:
Both can fly. They both lay eggs. Ducks have sharper claws and slightly bigger beaks. Chickens have sharper beaks. Look up, look in trees, look in barns. If you are close enough to tell the difference, you’re too close.

Usually black-and-white patterned. Enormous. Hooves are the worst part. This is how I nearly died in 2009 (long story, buy me an aged whisky sometime). Suffice it to say: if cornered, climb a tree. Do not play dead. I know this from harsh experience.

Great White Sharks:
Kind, loving and friendly to strangers. Jump in and have a swim around, maybe after throwing some chum in the water so they start acting more playful. Warning: the surface of the water may also be a habitat for ducklings. Always be watchful.

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