A caged kangaroo named Apollo who was at the Granite State Fair in Rochester has caused quite an uproar on social media after thousands of people signed a petition to free him.

The adult red kangaroo is the subject of the “Kangaroo Deserves Freedom NOW” petition, which has been signed by people all over northern New England and even some states outside of the region.

On Sunday, the last day of the fair, Mellonie Tate, of Rochester, stopped by to see Apollo in his cage. She was upset because she thought that he could not stand up straight based on the size of the cage.

Tate, who was at the zoo section of the fair with her husband and grandchildren, said she wasn’t even sure she should let the kids see Apollo in his cage.

Tate has signed the petition, she said.

“Look at him. You know he can’t stand up straight,” Tate said.

Other people who came by to see the kangaroo said they never expected to see one at the fair.

Kelly McNamara, of Boston, said seeing Apollo in person was pretty cool.

“It’s great. I didn’t realize their tails are so long,” McNamara said.

Tracy Marsden and Ted Gilford, of Haverhill, Mass., also were happy to see a kangaroo in person.

“It’s not something I thought I’d see at the fair,” Marsden said.

Crystal Coronas, an employee who is a member of the family that runs the zoo business featured at the fair, said the online concerns come from a lack of understanding.

Coronas said the animals at the zoo live on a 20-acre farm in Florida when they are not working the fair circuit.

Coronas said she and others who work for Coronas of Hollywood grew up taking care of the creatures that people can learn about through their exhibits and fun competitive events, such as pig racing.

The pig racing was where Coronas could be found on Sunday evening.

Coronas was aware of the petition and said they are regulated on the federal and state level. They are also part of an agritourism association.

For the people who are complaining, it’s hurtful.

“They don’t believe we know what we’re talking about. We were born and raised with these animals,” Coronas said.

The Granite State Fair features animals and exhibits, rides, school bus derbies and demolition derbies.

There is also entertainment. The original junk rock band Recycled Percussion was scheduled to play at the grandstand this year.

Photo by Kimberley Haas
Photo by Kimberley Haas
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com. 

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