WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – People in Massachusetts are expressing concern about the welfare of the animals at a petting zoo.
The new round of concern comes after a video of a camel at the Commerford Petting Zoo at the Big E went viral on Facebook. It appears to show a camel refusing to get up from the ground as its handler tugs on its harness.
News Channel 8’s sister station WWLP spoke with people on both sides of the controversial video.
The video shows the nephew of the Commerford Petting Zoo owner attempting to get the 12-year-old Dromedary Camel to stand up.
Owner Tim Commerford said the animal was not being mistreated.
“He kind of pitched a little fit and did a tantrum like a child would and just sat down,” Commerford said. “My nephew just grabbed a grain instead of treats, and when he decided he wasn’t getting up he just let him be.”
Commerford said the camel he had raised since it was 2 months old, eventually stood up on his own.
The Western Massachusetts Animal Rights Advocates director Sheryl Becker interprets the video quite differently.
“The camel obviously was having a really hard time standing up,” Becker said. “He wasn’t intentionally not standing up. It was struggling and had fallen.”