San Carlos petting zoo invites families to bond


Molly Donaldson

Children gather at a petting zoo on Jan. 28 to meet and pet animals, such as this alpaca.

Molly Donaldson, Staff Writer

Why did the chickens cross the road? To get to the petting zoo.

A petting zoo was featured at the San Carlos Library on Jan. 28 as one of several events put on for The San Carlos Week of the Family.

The San Carlos Week of the Family was founded by Don Eaton, a three-time former mayor of San Carlos. It occurs annually at the end of January with activities on each day of the week. Thus far, there has been a family hike, a bingo night, and the petting zoo. On one Sunday afternoon of the year, an event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Eaton values the bond that a family shares and wanted to emphasize the benefits of familial love.

“It’s a good community event,” he said. “We think families are important.”

Volunteers, such as Don Eaton and his wife, Glenna Eaton, run the majority of The Week of the Family. While some events use sponsors, most of the week is organized by volunteers with the cooperation of the city and the schools.

In years past, the Sunday afternoon has favored indoor events. This year, however, they got the opportunity to host an outdoor petting zoo.

“For our Week of the Family event we wanted someone to talk about animals and this opportunity came up,” Glenna Eaton said.

Due to recent rain, the managers of the petting zoo were concerned about possible weather complications during the afternoon. Fortunately, to the delight of many, the sky was clear and the sun shined down on the animals and their enthusiasts.

“I don’t think we’ve had a better day all winter or summer,” Glenna Eaton said.

The petting zoo is beneficial for families because parents get to witness the bond that their children make with the animals and the kids get to experience animals they are not usually familiar with.

“It’s a great option,” said Reuben Ramos, a parent from Emerald Hills. “It gives my kid different types of animals to bond with.”

Ramos had been in the area when he heard about the zoo and decided to bring his daughter because he thought it would be a good experience for her.

Unfortunately, there was not a lot of space in the zoo and allowing too many kids inside the pen at one time would frighten the animals. There was a long line to enter the petting zoo and children had a limited amount of time to meet the animals.

“You can really only let a few people in at a time,” Don Eaton said.

The Week of the Family provides a chance for families to spend time together while having fun, and despite the wait, the kids still had a chance to enjoy the animals and bond with their parents.

“We believe that the core of society is the individual family,” Glenna Eaton said. “I think this is wonderful for the children.”