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Heidi Herriott with Mini Donkeys at the Coney Island Boom a Ring Circus Menagerie.  Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Heidi Herriott with Mini Donkeys at the Coney Island Boom a Ring Circus Menagerie. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last night at the Boom A Ring Circus, I got to meet and take photos of “Cyclone,” a cute and frisky 5-1/2-week-old miniature donkey. Born during the Ringling Circus’s summer run in Coney Island, the baby donkey was named in honor of the world-famous Cyclone roller coaster. The donkeys are housed in a section of the big top called “Animal Open House” which is open to ticketholders 90 minutes before the show. The exhibit includes both performing animals (tigers, elephants) and non-performing animals (llamas, horses, donkeys etc).

Born in Coney Island: Miniature Donkey named Cyclone. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Born in Coney Island: Miniature Donkey named "Cyclone." Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

It was a pleasure to meet third generation circus performer and animal trainer Heidi Herriott, who is in charge of the Boom A Ring’s menagerie of non-performing animals. I knew about Heidi’s work organizing a circus division for the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA), but had no idea she was with Ringling in Coney Island until our mutual friend OABA President Bob Johnson said “Say Hi to Heidi.” During my visit, Heidi answered questions from guests, cleaned the stalls and set up this great photo op with the Boom A Ring’s very own Coney Island Baby. More pix in my flickr set. Thanks, Heidi!

Performances of the Coney Island Boom A Ring Circus continue through Monday, September 7. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out everybody’s photos of the show on flickr and see what you’re missing!

Circus performer and animal trainer Heidi Herriott manages Coney Island Boom a Rings Menagerie. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Circus performer and animal trainer Heidi Herriott manages Coney Island Boom a Ring's Menagerie. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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