Grosse Isle youth running summer petting zoo

Max Garfinkel at his petting zoo located at the Prairie Dog Central Railway Station in Grosse Isle. Twyla Siple / The Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times

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A Grosse Isle youth is taking his passion for animals and sharing it with his community.

Max Garfinkel, 15, runs a small petting zoo, where he has chickens and other small animals.
The zoo is located at Prairie Dog Central Railway station in the local community, during the summer months, typically running from May to September.

“So, when a person wants to pet one I bring it to the fence and the person can pet it,” Garfinkel told Interlake Publishing on June 17.

He was seen at the Grosse Isle station during Father’s Day and was interacting with train passengers who were curious about his small sanctuary.

Garfinkel has been running the petting zoo for a few years and says he earns money from his venture by allowing his visitors to interact with the animals. Those who can, give him donations.

Garfinkel’s mother, Lee, said he has always been interested in animals all his life and hopes to work with them all his life.

“He wants to be a vet one day and he is really interested in birds,” she said.

Lee noted his interest in animals has allowed him to incubate and raise his animals.

She added his initiative is commendable for a youth of his age. “We think it’s great. We’re really proud of him and he is very hardworking,” she said.

His zoo also has ducks and geese and is decked out with a cooling pool for the animals, as well as a shaded area.

The Prairie Dog Central Railway is a short line railway owned and operated by The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc. It typically runs every Sunday in summer from Winnipeg to Grosse Isle.

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