Have you ever been to a private zoo? From my (admittedly limited) experience, they compare to the “big” zoos like afternoon tea with the queen compares to an impromptu beach barbecue with friends.
Both things you are interested in doing. But one is very proper and a planned event, taking over your day, while the other is casual, as long as you want it to be, and involves a little surprise tongue.
While holidaying with the fam in Ontario we had a chance to visit the Elmvale Jungle Zoo near Wasaga Beach (our second stop for the day), and I was a little skeptical when we pulled into the tiny gravel parking lot adjoining a small house, where presumably the zoo owners stay to keep an eye on their backyard jaguars. Seriously, who thinks “y’know, I should start a zoo“, and promptly goes out looking for the best deal on zebras?
These people, apparently, and they did a pretty fantastic job.
The cages are a little (ok, a lot) smaller than big zoos, but this means the animals are really easy to spot, and I’ve never seen such relaxed, personable zoo animals! These guys put on a show in every cage, from the big cats to the little lemurs, and the fact that you can feed them as you walk along makes them pretty excited to see you. The kids loved feeding the alpacas, deer, and giraffe, and listening to the very vocal monkeys and watching them swing from tree to rope to fence and back again. The small crowds meant you always had a front row seat, and I think I saw one staff member the whole time we were there. I definitely hope we can go again next summer!
The deer licked his lips with relish after getting K-fer’s arm in its mouth pretty much up to the elbow :)
The goats running semi-free may not have fit the jungle theme, but they were a huge hit with young and old alike. Pet mini goat, anyone?
Have you ever been to a great private zoo? Are there others I should know about and plan to visit??
Have a great Friday, and see you tomorrow for some Saturday sweetness!
Kathleen Richardson says
That’s a TALL giraffe. What a fun day for you and your family, Anna. Thanks for sharing your pleasure with us.
Emily Kampen says
Mountain View Conservation Centre in Langley is supposed to be a good one… not sure if it’s privately owned but they try to minimize crowds and there’s a lot of really rare animals there.
Ooh, I’ll have to check it out! It must be good since I’ve never heard of it :)
That looks like a great time! I love the little goats!
PS…”surprise tongue”!! Tut tut Anna ;)
No private zoos here that I can think of but I have seen wild animals out of the zoo…which should be normal…just not here:) On the Sumas flats someone was babysitting an gigantic elephant in their yard….that was long time ago.
One other time was while walking on the dike in Abby. Someone had wild cats as ‘pets’, and their yard backed onto the dike. Can’t remember if they were tigers or lions or jaguars or what. And we just hoped the fences were really strong:)
I agree this was a lot of fun…thanks to Emily and Nick for recommending it. It’s not everyday you can say you fed a giraffe :) Although maybe the taller of the grandparents should have done the lifting to help the grandchildren feed them. I’m afraid the giraffe still had to bend down a long way to reach them when I lifted them. :) As for next year, that would be great…maybe we can get Chelsea and her little ones along with us next time too!