The Cute Animals Placed On Display Aren’t Really Having Much Fun In Their Enclosures. In Fact, They Can Often Act Out, Distressed By Gawking Crowds.

Unlike seemingly every other media outlet in Dallas and, to a degree, the whole goddamn state, we here at Central Track aren’t exactly enamored with the State Fair of Texas. Why? Because, for starters, we’re not kids any more, and we’re no longer oblivious to the ways of the world. But also for a litany of other reasons, which we’ll happily run down for you here, one per day, over the entire course of the fair’s 2017 run.

A few days ago, a concerned mother posted a video on Facebook that shows a young giraffe at the State Fair of Texas’ petting zoo in such distress that it runs back in forth in its enclosure, narrowly avoiding bumping its head on the ceiling of the opening where it was being held.

Stephanie Coon of Fort Worth, who posted the video, notes that the giraffe also appeared to have a cut on its chest and was bleeding from its nose. Poor thing!

The good news, we suppose, is that it the giraffe has since been removed from the petting zoo and taken back to Kansas, where the petting zoo vendor the State Fair of Texas uses houses the rest of his exotic animals.

But is this behavior all that surprising? Petting zoos aren’t exactly an ideal place for our furry friends to be kept. Not at all surprisingly, PETA has long argued against these attractions, noting that animals in petting zoos can sometimes be overwhelmed by large crowds — just what appears to have happened to that poor baby giraffe.

There are, of course, arguments for the benefits of petting zoos — namely that their existence ups overall interest in animal welfare. But the State Fair of Texas might do well not to take that initiative of spreading awareness so literally.

Parents shouldn’t have to explain odd animal behavior to their children — “Oh, sweetie, it’s perfectly normal for the animals to act like that when they’re stressed out!” — or act as whistleblowers when witness to it. If nothing else, it’s not asking too much to ask that the trained professionals working these attractions take the time to notice these issues before the public does, is it? Probably not, considering how big a role animal husbandry plays in the core of the State Fair of Texas’ stated mission.

Listen, just because something is tradition doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon. An easy place to start would be to leave the giraffes and other exotic animals elsewhere over the course of the fair’s run. Standing around and getting stared at by throngs of snot-nosed kids isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, and the animals at the State Fair of Texas are no different in that regard.

Disagree? OK, that’s a little cold-blooded of you. But, whatever, we’re happy to concede that point to you — so long as you can explain us why in the world exotic animals like giraffes are even at the State Fair of Texas in the first place.

Really: These animals aren’t native to Texas — like, at all. That’s what makes them exotic.

Beyond serving as a cruel draw to get people out to the fairgrounds each fall, what do they have to do with celebrating the history of this state?

More Reasons Why The State Fair Of Texas Sucks:

  1. Its history is super racist!
  2. It’s a major drain on Dallas police!
  3. It’s bad for your health!
  4. It’s so damn expensive!
  5. It’s not the economic driver it says it is!
  6. It’s a super shitty neighbor!
  7. It’s an altar to false idols!
  8. It makes Fair Park useless!
  9. It wastes city funds on out-of-towners!
  10. It exploits cute animals!
  11. Its executives take home too much money!
  12. Everything on the midway is a ripoff.
  13. It has willfully ignored its obligations and allowed Fair Park to fall into disrepair!
  14. It refuses to be transparent about the way it spends public funds.
  15. It can’t handle Fair Park’s long-term needs.
  16. Its lauded scholarship program is a joke compared to those of other, similar events.
  17. It uses fear tactics in its negotiations with the city.
  18. It goes out of its way to shield its crowds from the poor black neighborhood that surrounds Fair Park.
  19. Its low-level employees get burned by its executives’ bad business decisions.
  20. Its ticket-based economy is designed to squeeze even more cash out of attendees.
  21. It cares way too much about parking lots that go unused most of the year.
  22. It’s petty as fuck.
  23. It celebrates humanity’s fucked up relationship with livestock.
  24. It refuses to change.
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