By Jack Williams
This adorable viral video of has been described as the “world’s cutest petting zoo” and has blown up on Facebook, garnering more than 65 MILLION VIEWS and ONE MILLION SHARES in a matter of days.
It shows an eclectic mix of baby animals lovingly interacting – including two baby skunks, four kittens, a white-tailed fawn and a baby raccoon.
The video was shot by Tammy Virgin of Hochatown Petting Zoo in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, USA, who said she never expected the footage to gain the level of interest it has.
Adding to the romance of the story, all the happy animals featured happen to be orphaned.
As well as being a petting zoo, Hochatown offers rehabilitation programs through the state, and once they are healthy again, they are released back into the wild.
Shooting the video was simply a cute idea, Tammy said, as the baby animals were having their beds cleaned out and staff had gathered the animals together while prepping their feed.
The popularity of the loving footage, which was on June 12, could be seen in Google Trends data, as “Hochatown, Oklahoma,” had the highest possible search interest rating of 100 – more than three times its yearly high.
Tammy said: “I was completely shocked when I realized the video had gone viral.
“My friend called me and ask if I had seen what was going on.
“I never expected this to happen, nor was it my intentions.
“I have simply enjoyed all the sweet comments and messages I’ve received from other animals lovers.
“Although, I like to remind people that the wildlife they see, are not pets and to please never remove any wildlife, from the wild with intent to be kept as a pet – it never ends well for either party involved.”
The long-term goal is to have the petting zoo and wildlife rehabilitation as separate entities, Tammy said.
All monetary gains from the zoo go back into animal well-being – from vet bills to feed and bedding.
Staff hope the zoo will educate children who may more may not have interacted with animals, and the recent video certainly helped drive attention to the business, seeing Hochatown gain thousands of followers in the process.
Staff commented on Facebook: “We are simply amazed at how much love and attention our video has received of our little orphans.
“Thank you very much, everyone.
“To clarify on this, along with being a petting zoo, we also do licensed wildlife rehabilitation through the state.
“Any wildlife you see us post, are all orphaned or injured.
“All wildlife will be released once they’re at the appropriate age and possess the skills needed to return to the wild.
“The babies in the video are not kept together all the time – we thought it would be a cute shot to show everyone of all our little ones together while we cleaned out their beds and prepped their bottles for feeding time.
“Please remember wild animals, while adorable, do not make and are not pets.”