Giddy goats on campus

Trinity students interacted with some furry friends at DU AgSoc’s petting zoo on Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon saw the arrival of a llama, goats, rabbits, and other furry creatures to Trinity, hosted by the DU AgSoc’s petting farm. For an entry fee of €2 joyous students were invited to pet, hold, and take selfies with the animals on the Chemistry Lawn, right behind the Pav.

“Animals can offer therapeutic benefits”, said Callum Ryan, event manager for Wooly Ward’s, the touring farm hired for this event. These animals are nomads of sorts, travelling around the country to colleges, businesses and children’s birthday parties. The company teaches classes on animal care and welfare to secondary schools, and are also hired out to be used as a method of de-stressing after exams. The farm also visits nursing homes, bringing excitement to elderly people who may have spent some time away from the contact of family pets.

The welfare of the animals was a priority for both the handlers from the farm and students who organised the event, and necessary measures were taken to ensure their safety and comfort. Among the animals to visit Trinity were Chile the llama, Nelly the kunekune pig, and a group of rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs who kept warm under a tent, sheltering from the January drizzle.

This was the first event of the term for the newly-established DU AgSoc. The society was founded last year by a team of first-year students living in Trinity Hall, who identified a gap in the societies market for a group devoted to all things agricultural. Head of the society Conor Stapleton said that while many of its members have a farming background, students involved in AgSoc study a diverse range of courses, ranging from business to medicine. All certainly have a love of animals in common, as was demonstrated by the excitement brought by the petting farm.

This event follows on from the success of the ever-popular ‘puppy room’ hosted by TCDSU for Mental Health Week last semester. Clearly there is a growing appetite in Trinity for animal interaction, something which can often feel distant in the urbanity of the city centre.