The Five Most Miserable-Looking Animals at the Arizona State Fair
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman

The Five Most Miserable-Looking Animals at the Arizona State Fair

It seems like many of the animals on display every year at the Arizona State Fair are a bit, well, uncomfortable in their tiny cages and cramped habitats. 

While livestock and animals are as much a part of the fair as greasy eats and thrill rides, some of these captive creatures that are viewed by the public appear somewhat sad and unhappy.

And while you're not going to find us humming a few bars from "Born Free" or anything (and we're sure that all the animals are well-fed in captivity), here's our list of some of the more miserable-looking beasts we saw during a recent trip to the fair.


5. Petting Zoo Wallaby
We're willing to bet that you too would look just as sad as this Australian marsupial after being subjected to a nonstop stream of noisy children pulling your ears while screaming, as well as the occasional Affliction-wearing bro misidentifying you as a kangaroo to his girlfriend.

4. Caged Rabbits
These rabbits are so damn cute and cuddly, but we hate seeing members of the leporidae family pent up as a part of the fair's livestock exhibition. 

Thankfully, like most of the animals on display, they're up for sale for those who'd like to give 'em a good home...or cook 'em up in a stewpot.

A clever capuchin eager to escape.
A clever capuchin eager to escape.

3. Capuchin Monkeys

Observing this pair of excitable primates inside their cage, which is located on the north side of the fairgrounds, was like watching scenes from a prison break movie. 

Chattering away, the two wily capuchins (widely viewed as some of the world's more intelligent monkeys) were manically dashing around their seven-foot by three-foot fenced enclosure looking for an escape, fumbling with padlocks, and pulling on doors. Needless to say, they wanted out of their cage.

A lifetime supply of bacon.
A lifetime supply of bacon.

2. Giant Pig
The large sign enticing fair patrons to "come see the giant pig" isn't lying, as a half-ton hog is contained within an elevated habitat. A nonstop stream of gawkers each pay a dollar to view this gargantuan bacon factory, make fun of its humongously large testicles, and recoil in horror at the sweet stench of pig feces while it stands there grunting and oinking. 

Sadly, its pen is a barely twice as large as the beast itself, leaving it little room to turn around. Perhaps it should learn to read and lead a revolution along with the fair's other animals, ala Snowball from George Orwell's Animal Farm.

That's one gargantuan gator.
That's one gargantuan gator.

1. Giant Alligator
Upon first glance, this ginormous gator known as "Big Al" -- measuring 13-and-a-half-feet long and weighing in excess of 1,200 pounds -- appeared completely lifeless. After five minutes, however, Big Al moved an eye, but only after some kids banged on the steel mesh keeping the creature captive. Such laziness is to be expected, considering its 65 years old (making it a senior citizen as far as gators go), and lives in an gigantic plastic tub with not much water to live in. 

Here's hoping he never gets sold to "Jungle" George Sandefur, the infamous vendor cooking up gator meat and other freaky foods at the fair.

The Arizona State Fair is open daily through Sunday, November 6. Hours vary. Admission is $5 for seniors and children ages 5-13, $10 for adults. Click here for tickets and more info.

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