Traveling zoo brings exotic animals to Boonville

One did not have to travel to the exotic places of the world to experience the animals of those places. A traveling petting zoo originating from Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm based in Nickerson, Kans., made a stop at the Orscheln parking lot in Boonville Wednesday. The petting zoo will stay in Boonville until Sunday, when it will travel to Moberly.
The petting zoo includes a variety of animals found in the far reaches of the planet, including camels, ostriches, rheas, zebras, antelope, kangaroos and giant tortoises. Individuals are allowed to pet the animals for a small charge.
According to the farm has been in business for 30 years and includes five traveling zoos. The farm furnishes animals for commercials, nativities and the Rockettes.
"We go coast to coast, border to border, and even Hawaii," Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm employee Marcus Lanning said.
While the petting zoo was mainly for feeding and petting the animal, a full size camel was offered for rides in an enclosed area for $5 a ride.      
Lanning said this portion of the traveling zoo will travel around the midwest before returning to Kansas in the late spring. This summer, the petting zoo will be showcased at state fairs around the region, including the Missouri State Fair.