ISW (Introductory Seminar Week) is the first big orientation week for new students to Trent University. Part of this week involves seminars and tours in hopes that first year students become comfortable and acquainted with their new school. The other part is a lot about getting the students to meet one another and really fun events. Some events are big and loud and others are more low-key come and go activities. Each college is in charge of coming up with different events for each day. For my college, LEC (Lady Eaton College) we decided we wanted to bring a petting zoo to Trent and have students come to see it throughout the day.
As an ISW staff member, I was asked to go with a few other people on the Wednesday morning to help the Tiger Paw Petting Zoo set up their tents and fences. Not really knowing what to expect from this petting zoo, I put on my raincoat and headed to the field to set up. When I got there the first thing they handed me was a kangaroo in a massive crate! Next out came 3 small potbelly pigs and then a second kangaroo.
After much “Ooooing and Ahhhing,” and picture taking, we continued to help set up the tents and fences. As we were putting up the enclosure for the lemurs I asked the woman where they were from. When she told me Arthur, Ontario, I couldn’t believe it. They were from home! Being 3 and a half hours from my home on the Tenth Line of Minto, I was shocked that the petting zoo at Trent was all the way from Arthur.
Everyone was really really impressed with the animals that were emerging from the large trailer. Sheep, billy goats, an interesting breed of miniature cows, came down the ramp, followed by 2 porqupines, an alpaca, a llama, and a baby zebra! The tortoise was carried to its pen because, well, we didn’t have all day. The only animals left were the pair of camels, eagerly poking their heads out the door. They were a huge hit because they were so friendly. The baby zebra was another big favourite.
All day, even in the rain, students from across the campus were coming to check out the petting zoo at LEC. It was a really fun come and go event to have during ISW week and one that we hope to bring back in future years. Students really appreciated that these exotic animals were brought right on campus just for them to see.