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Eight-year-old Taylor Gamm balances three chickens on his shoulders and arms with the help of an Animal Village employee. The petting zoo company brought more than 80 tame animals to the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday to give children a chance to interact with animals they don’t normally see on base.

Eight-year-old Taylor Gamm balances three chickens on his shoulders and arms with the help of an Animal Village employee. The petting zoo company brought more than 80 tame animals to the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday to give children a chance to interact with animals they don’t normally see on base. (Brian Naranjo / U.S. Navy)

Eight-year-old Taylor Gamm balances three chickens on his shoulders and arms with the help of an Animal Village employee. The petting zoo company brought more than 80 tame animals to the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday to give children a chance to interact with animals they don’t normally see on base.

Eight-year-old Taylor Gamm balances three chickens on his shoulders and arms with the help of an Animal Village employee. The petting zoo company brought more than 80 tame animals to the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday to give children a chance to interact with animals they don’t normally see on base. (Brian Naranjo / U.S. Navy)

Cayli Rich, 6, cuddles a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday.

Cayli Rich, 6, cuddles a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center on Friday. (Brian Naranjo / U.S. Navy)

Zachary Lincod, 4, offers a carrot to a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center.

Zachary Lincod, 4, offers a carrot to a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center. (Brian Naranjo / U.S. Navy)

John Borno, 3, makes friends with a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center.

John Borno, 3, makes friends with a rabbit outside the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Child Development Center. (Brian Naranjo / U.S. Navy)

After a few tentative steps toward the fuzzy bunny, it took a carrot to convince the children it was safe to approach.

On Friday, a truck filled with animals arrived outside the Child Development Center at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, to introduce the youngsters to the animals.

About 80 critters big and small were on display, including baby chicks, mommy hens and daddy roosters, along with a goat, rabbits, mice and a yellow lab puppy.

The event, the fourth organized by the CDC, introduces children to animals and is part of the center’s educational curriculum, said base spokesman Brian Naranjo.

“The kids have a chance to interact with animals that many have probably never seen before,” Naranjo said. “Or never at this base.”

The mostly farm animals were on loan from a local animal facility at Sagami Lake. The animals were packed into a truck for the visit.

Some of the children were scared of the bigger animals at first, Naranjo said. But after feeding them and approaching slowly, the children quickly warmed up to the critters.

Carrots were then enjoyed by all, along with the fresh air and sunshine.

The day ended with all animals accounted for, no injuries, and a positive lesson in farm animal care.


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