Jeffrey, a 12-year-old camel, makes a cease at a PetSmart in Muskegon on Sunday to assist promote his house owners’ farms and petting zoo. (Photo: Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo)
Jeffrey, a New Era, Michigan petting-zoo camel made a cease at a PetSmart in Muskegon this weekend, a publicity stunt geared toward displaying off the unique animal and letting him stretch his lengthy legs.
Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo, which is on the west aspect of Michigan and has about 75 animals, made national headlines as recently as December as a place where folks could recycle their Christmas trees. Their goats, the zoo owners said, would love to eat the pine needles.
But on Sunday afternoon, Jeffrey – a 12-year-old, one-humped Arabian camel – was the star as he made his way through the chain pet store’s doors and wandered the aisles, meeting other customers.
“He loves people, so we took him on a field trip,” said Jenny Ferels, a spokeswoman for the farms and zoo. She recorded the visit on video. “Obviously, we wanted to show off a little bit. He’s a big star here.”
The idea for the trip, she said, was partly inspired by a video last month of Oliver — a 1,600-pound, Ankole-Watusi steer that garnered national attention after it visited a Petco in the Houston area.
There, the steer’s owners sought to test the store’s policy that all animals are welcome.
“We decided to take a chance and call Petco’s bluff on the ‘ALL LEASHED PETS ARE WELCOME’ policy,” the steer’s owner, Vincent Browning, said in a Facebook post. “The awesome crew at Petco–Atascocita did not disappoint!!”
Oliver’s horns are 114 inches from tip to tip.
After holidays, Christmas trees can be gift to west Michigan goats
A 1,600-pound steer showed up on a leash. Petco welcomed him
Jeffrey, Ferels said, was raised in west Michigan and stopped at the pet shop so people could see him — and the farms could one-up the steer owners in Texas.
Lewis Farms is an agritourism destination in its fifth generation of family operation. It is on the Lake Michigan side of the state, near Silver Lake Sand Dunes, about halfway between Muskegon and Ludington.
Scott Lewis’ grandparents and parents initially started a farm market in the 1970s. It closed when roads and traffic were rerouted, but reopened in 2003, when Cindy Lewis started selling cherries on a picnic table in the makeshift front-yard fruit stand.
The stand became successful, and Cindy Lewis — who loves animals — added a petting zoo.
It was small at first but grew.
Over the years, the zoo has expanded to include more than 30 goats, a donkey, a miniature horse, an alpaca, deer, prairie dogs, and pairs of wallabies and lemurs. the farms have a second camel, Quigly.
There also are peacocks, ducks, chickens, pheasants, and parakeets.
The farms and zoo, at 4180 W M-20, open May 10.
Jeffrey was welcome at the pet store, but there was one mishap.
“We did have a clean up on aisle four,” Ferels said. “We did leave a little souvenir for them.”
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or email@example.com.
Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo
Address: 4180 West M-20, New Era, MI 49446
Phone: (231) 861-5730
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