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Perham goes exotic for a day

Sam Benshoof/FOCUS This 3-year-old camel was available for auction at the April 9 exotic animal auction held at the Perham Stockyards. The camel came from a petting zoo, and likely would fetch a price of several thousand dollars, said Sale Manager Vern Pautsch.

An exotic animal and fowl auction at the Perham Stockyards on April 9 brought a few unusual creatures to the area.

Animals available at the sale included camels, yaks, horses, donkeys, watusis, Scottish Highlander cattle, rabbits, many kinds of poultry and much more.

According to Sale Manager Vern Pautsch, it's always a surprise - even to him - what animals are available at the auction.

"Every time, you never know what's coming," he said.

This is the first time he's had camels available, he said. At a recent auction, he had a zebra.

Pautsch, who lives in Grasston, Minn., emphasized the fact that the animals at the auction go "back to the country, not to a slaughterhouse," he said.

According to Pautsch, the exotic animal auction is held in Perham two times a year - once in fall and once in spring. Pautsch also holds exotic animal auctions in Piers, Minn., and Long Prairie, Minn. He will be holding an upcoming auction in Long Prairie in May.

Pautsch said he often gets people from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas to buy or sell animals.

"It gets to be a lot of work," Pautsch said of running and organizing the sales. "But it's worth it, with all the people who come out. The event turns into a place where people come out and meet friends."

Pautsch said he also appreciates the Perham Stockyards letting him use their facilities for the auction.

For more information about the next exotic animal auction in Perham, contact Pautsch at