Montclair State University students welcomed animals from Green Meadows Farm at a petting zoo in the Student Center quad earlier today.
The line to pet and hold the animals stretched along the walkway beside the quad, as students eagerly awaited their turn to step inside the gate. Inside the fence an assortment of llamas, ducks, bunnies, chickens and baby goats received much love and attention from their adoring fans. Students were thrilled at the opportunity to hold the animals, especially the baby goats.
Outside the fenced-in area, a cow named Cocoa lay basking in all the attention and a pony named Shadow roamed the quad eating grass. Those who didn’t have time to wait in line were able to stop in and pet these two animals.
The mobile petting zoo from Green Meadows Farm travels all around New Jersey visiting nursing homes, children’s birthday parties, special needs camps and more during the summer months. During the fall and spring seasons, they welcome visitors to the farm located in Monmouth County.
According to Mary Beth Somerville, an employee of Green Meadows Farm since 1987, “Right from the moment they’re born, they are around people. We make sure our visitors treat them kindly and the animals treat them gently in return.” Since a college campus is not a typical venue for the animals, Somerville called today’s petting zoo “an especially fun event.”
Erica Stolte, Senior BFA student with a studio art concentration, shared her thoughts on the event. “I think it’s a great idea. It’s a wonderful stress reliever, especially since the semester just started. It just brings the morale up.”
Thomas Wojcik, an undeclared Sophomore, said, “I think it’s great because New Jersey is a very urban area, so a lot of us don’t get to see this in our daily lives. It reminds us that they [farm animals] are still around.”