Every fall, my family and I seem to end up petting strange (to us) critters just by visiting the usual fall haunts. A Halloween-themed event at our local science center? Sure, the reptile guy is there, so why not hold a tarantula or scorpion? (Holding an alligator is always my favorite.) Heading to the farm to pick pumpkins? Be sure to pet the wallabys, emu and llamas, too. At the Renaissance Faire? Sure, pet the lemurs. All of these animals seemed to have plenty of room to move, and their caretakers seemed to really love them (some were from wildlife rescue centers), but I had to wonder about each critter's treatment.
It got me thinking about which animals might be the weirdest ones featured at a petting zoo, or which might be the strangest ones you've ever held or touched, anywhere. I think a hissing cockroach might top my own list, but I also wonder about animals I may have touched as a kid and just don't remember. I'd love to go to a sloth sanctuary someday and hold one of those critters but the older I get, the more I really just want to make sure animals are treated humanely above all else, and some petting centers just aren't, so it's about doing your homework for me lately.
So what's the strangest animal you've ever touched, and how do you ensure that it's at a humane location?