Critters and kids at petting zoo

Rabbits may just be magical. It sure seemed that way during past Block Party events, when John and Kim Connolly saw excited youngsters simply settle down and bond with baby bunnies—or cavies, guinea pigs, wallabies or chinchillas—at their Animal Encounters booth.

“For some kids, just holding a rabbit for an hour is a super-positive experience,” says John Connolly, and that’s what he and his wife set out to create when they launched their business.

Animal Encounters, based in Fall City, started with the idea of creating positive experiences for every visitor, as well as the animals.

“Our philosophy is a little different from other folks’” Connolly said.

So, there’s no feeding at Animal Encounters, which can cause animals to rush and crowd new visitors, and there are few large animals, which can be frightening to some.

There are, however, lots of small, furry animals, and spots for children — and adults — to sit down and get to know them.

“People really enjoy interacting with cuddly animals that like to be held,” Connolly said, baby bunnies especially.

• Find Animal Encounters petting zoo on Ballarat Avenue, downtown North Bend, during the Block Party.


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