The story of Pete Bergman’s pet playpen and his adventures in Australia and New Zealand, where he spent the better part of a decade.PETE BERGMAN: The playpen was a toy, I bought it as a baby, I was so young, I didn’t even know it existed.
I was really young, and my mum came to me and said, ‘Pete, you need to take your little boy to the zoo, it’s his first time there.’
So I said, I’ve got to make one of those little things, and then I said I was going to the toy store, and I found it and bought it, and it was a pretty cool toy, it was like a miniaturised dinosaur.
I’d love to have it in the future, but it’s just not the same as a real dinosaur.
I used to come here and do the kangaroo-jump thing with it, I’d go out in the bush and try to jump up into it, because that’s my favourite thing to do.
And that was when I realised it was going up into a tree.
That was really fun.
I had a real fascination with it.
It’s funny because I have to go back to my school in Queensland, I just got a letter from them saying, ‘Sorry, we have to have you in the school as a visitor’.
But it was just so fun to go and play in that place with these kids.
I’ve always been a bit of a nature-lovers, I really enjoy nature, I like all the wildlife, I love being out in nature.
I was in a little zoo in Queensland and I had an old toy called the pet playpens, so I put them in there and then there was no more money for me to go to Australia and get them, so that was my next dream, to make something out of those things.
And I’m just lucky to have a lot of time on my hands, I don’t have any of the kids, so it’s nice to have time for myself.
But I also love the animal life.
There’s no shortage of people who enjoy animals.
I’m a very big animal enthusiast.
I have a really big collection of reptiles, I have snakes, I own a lot.
And I think that I love animals.PETER BERGman has lived in the New South Wales state of Queensland for nearly 40 years.
In the 1990s he made a documentary called “My Life with Pete Bergmann” about the life of his pet playpet, a giant turtle named Pete.PETELBERGMAN: We spent a lot, but we’ve had no money.PETEO: We just made it happen.PETEB: It was really important to us to make it happen because it was such a good toy, so we just wanted to keep it, put it on the shelf.PETEA: It’s been really important for us.PETEPETER: It has been a lot to live in, we just had no support, it took up a lot out of our time.
PETEPETEB: We didn’t have anything, we were so poor, we had no food, we couldn’t even afford a toilet paper.PETEW: We lived in a lot and it wasn’t enough.
It was so important that we make it work.PETEC: There was no money, we could barely afford it.PETETER (voiceover): Pete Bergmans pet playpad is now on display at the Australian Reptile Museum.PETELLBERG: It got a lot more popular than I had ever expected, I remember one day I got a call from my daughter saying, hey, I got this turtle on eBay, I’m going to buy it, you’re going to give it to your daughter.
And we were really excited, because we had never seen it.
And she’s got it now, she’s just a bit more into it now than I ever have.
And she said, “You know what?
It’s worth it.”PETELLER: That’s the first time I’ve ever had a toy that I was really excited about.
And that’s what I’m really proud of, I can say it’s a pet play pen, but a real pet, the real thing, the genuine thing.PETEN: And the thing that really sticks out in my mind is the word ‘pet’.PETECE: You know what it means?PETETEA: Well, the first thing I said was, “What is a pet?”
It was the word I said to my daughter.
That’s how I felt, I think, that’s how it’s always been with me, I feel like it’s very personal, it means something to me, but I’m not going to be a bad person about it.
I love animals, and there’s no doubt in my head