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Skunk petted in The Malls
A SKUNK and a Shetland pony were the main attractions when animals visited a Basingstoke shopping centre.
The Malls offered families the chance to get up close to a variety of animals, including chickens, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats and a tortoise, when a team from Animal Dramatics visited.
The company, based in Baughurst, allowed children to hold some of the animals, or pet others including the Shetland pony.
But the highlight of the day was the opportunity to see a skunk called Flower.
Izzie Stevens, from Animal Dramatics, said: “The children love it and it’s a new experience for them because a lot of them haven’t seen some of the animals, such as a skunk.
“He’s a little bit shy. They only spray when they feel threatened and this one is friendly and has no reason to spray.”
Lily Coldwell, nine, from North Waltham, said: “Some of the animals, I haven’t seen before. I’ve said hello to them and stroked them. The guinea pigs are my favourite. I only have a cat at home.”
John Caudrey, from Larger Than Life, the company that organises entertainment for The Malls, said this was the first time animals, other than reindeer at Christmas, had been in the centre.
He added: “It’s something different and we thought it would be nice to try. It might be worth doing it again because it’s been very popular.”