Petting Zoo

Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm offers a petting zoo during special events that is managed by an accredited and experienced Animal Care Team that are professional members of the American Association of Zookeepers and Zoological Association of America. Animals are professionally transported to the farm for special events and do not reside on the premises full time.

The Petting Zoo is located in our paid activity area that is open daily from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31, Monday through Friday from 4 to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 8pm.

Petting Zoo

Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm offers a petting zoo during special events that is managed by an accredited and experienced Animal Care Team that are professional members of the American Association of Zookeepers and Zoological Association of America. Animals are professionally transported to the farm for special events and do not reside on the premises full time.

The Petting Zoo is located in our paid activity area that is open daily from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31, Monday through Friday from 4 to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 8pm.

Animal Encounters

Our Animal Care Team offers a variety of encounters at the petting zoo tent at Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm in the paid attraction area. In 2021, they are offering a limited number of encounters with the following animals:

  • Zebra $60
  • Skunk $25
  • Kangaroo $25
  • Armadillo $25

Zebra Encounter Details

The encounters are limited to three time slots per day, weekends at 10am, 2pm, and 6pm. Weekdays at 4pm and 7pm. The encounter includes a bottle feeding and experience and guests are allowed to gently pet our zebra ambassador.

The encounter will last 5-10 minutes and are $60 for the first person and $25 for the second person. No other people will be allowed in the encounter area, no additional picture takers, extra toddlers, etc. Two people max per encounter only. Children under 12 must be accompanied by paid adults and guests must remain calm, and stay in designated areas at all times. No exceptions.

Rules: Animal Care staff will go over rules with guests. Handlers will show guests how to bottle feed and where petting is permitted. Guests are allowed to take photographs on personal devices/cell phones. No flash photography.

Please note all animals may take intermittent breaks throughout the day or as determined by animal care staff.

Meet Your Animal Care Team

Animal Care Team

Steve Pulera is a graduate of San Diego Zoo Global Academy and has been working with domestic animals since 2001. He has 18 years experience working with wildlife and zoological species, encompassing over 70 species and managing accredited zoos. He is a professional member of American Association of Zookeepers, Professional Member of Zoological Association of America and his professional experience includes:

  • Certification in safe capture and chemical immobilization/wildlife anesthesia
  • Transports wild animals and mega vertebrates for private and accredited zoos
  • Consultant for multiple zoos in animal husbandry and care for exotic animals
  • Consults for veterinary clinics and local animal control in cases requiring knock downs, sedations and captures

Colleen Vana has a B.S. Animal Sciences with an emphasis in Animal Behavior. Since 2009 she has been working with domestic and companion animals as a Professional Animal trainer and behaviorist. She is a professional member of American Association of Zookeepers and her professional experience includes:

  • 13 years professional dog trainer
  • 8 years professional animal trainer
  • 8 years working in zoological field
  • 5 years in management