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Animals become family attraction at OC park

September 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An unofficial animal sanctuary is growing in Orange County. A variety of animals are now calling a local park their home.The Community Center Park in Garden Grove has become the place for locals to go and really get a taste of nature.

"I don't think a park is a really good home for a chicken, but they seem happy so maybe it works for them," said Jolene Lowinger of Garden Grove.

"The fire department brought the roosters down. Somebody abandoned them on their doorstep and they fed them for a while and then they brought them over here" said Dan Martinez of Garden Grove. "So that kind of took off from there."

Just yards from busy city streets, sits a park that for 20 years has been sort of an animal sanctuary.

"You can see turtles, ducks, swans, hens, chickens, roosters or hawks," said Julian Crisantos of Garden Grove.

"It's a little oasis here in Garden Grove and it's almost as good as going to the zoo," said Robert Molina of Garden Grove.

"It's a nice cool place to come and I've met a lot of nice people. I just love it. It's like country in the middle of the city," said Cheryl Briggs of Garden Grove.

From African Geese to Snakehead Turtles this is no ordinary park. It's not what city officials originally had in mind when they first built it. They believe many of the animals here are abandoned pets.

"These turtles have to get here from somewhere. I don't think they came down the 22, down the street to get here," said Molina.

However some of the animals got here, they've become a popular attraction for local residents and even other four legged animals.

"She loves it. She likes to chase them all around the pond and chase the ducks and turtles into the pond. And we do that twice a day," said Briggs.

"I've sort of got a following here. They sometimes of recognize me. I just got to hold up my bag of tricks and start shaking it and they'll come over and talk to me," said Martinez.

Now despite the increase of animal population city officials say the situation here at the park is very much under control, they haven't had any problems what so over. They do want to urge anyone who can't care for their pets to drop them off at their local animal shelter.


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