Goats, zebras, and camels, oh my! An exhibit at the Stock Show & Rodeo is showing off some unique animals

People get a chance to interact with animals they don't normally see in day-to-day life.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 3:59 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo has its very own animal nursery, but with animals, you won’t typically see on the farm.

This animal nursery gives guests the opportunity to get up close with a zebra, goat, cow, llama, and sheep.

The animals are courtesy of Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo.

The company started in 1997 by accident; Gary Reeves was a high school agricultural teacher and brought a petting zoo to a kindergarten class. After that he started receiving calls asking about the zoo, and if they could do events. Reeves and his son did a Future Farmers of America project which eventually became today’s petting zoo.

“We basically built some panels, built a trailer, used a few animals that we already had and that’s how we got started with this thing. It’s grown into one of the largest and most, popular petting zoos in the United States,” said Reeves, co-owner of Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo.

Reeves said his favorite part about owning the exotic petting zoo is being able to provide people with an experience they normally wouldn’t be able to have.

“It’s really nice actually getting to see animals that I haven’t actually seen before, I’ve never seen a camel or a kangaroo before,” said Blake Andress, someone visiting the exhibit.

Typically, Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo travels with 40 to 50 animals depending on the size of the event. Reeves said they try to have a variety of animals and are there to educate people.