Yesterday, Sean, Ashton and Abbie and I all drove out to the Animal Ark for some hiking fun and to visit the animals. Little did I know that they are closed on Mondays. But fortunately for us, the Sierra Safari Zoo was open instead (7 days a week), so it wasn't a wasted trip after all. They have quite the variety of animals, despite its small size. This little guy was a special treat for us!
There was actually supposed to be a separation between where the public walks and the lemur habitat, but the gate was open and we walked right up to the fence thinking nothing of it. He came right up to us wanting attention, and I pulled one of those, "Do what I say, but not what I do" moments and stuck my fingers through the fence. He was SO soft! His fur was so fine it felt like fluffy silk, but I couldn't quite get him to grasp my finger. Later when we walked by the lemurs, the gate was closed, and I though, "Oh, whoops! Guess I wasn't supposed to be up there..."
There were dozens of peacocks wandering free all over the zoo. White ones, tawny ones, and this one with magnificent plumage. Too bad he wouldn't open up for us!
Ashton went about nuts when we got to the white tiger enclosure. His favorite stuffed animal that he sleeps with every night is a white tiger, and begged me to take a little video of the tiger so we could watch him again at home. Poor guy was panting and pacing back and forth- he needed a turn in the large pen where a lioness was wasting her rotation sleeping. I wonder why his tail is docked?
Next came the eagerly awaited petting zoo! Some of the deer were particularly pushy, begging for food,
Or you know, a shirt...
Here is Sean and Abbie taking their turn petting some other begg-y deer (I did come home with some serious slobbered hay stains on my shorts, as did they):
And this is what I think of as "The Manger Scene"
This llama was a lot softer than he looked, despite the straw stuck in his fur. Ashton wasn't afraid of any of the animals, and even chased some cows and cats (of the domestic variety) around...
My favorite part of the this visit, however, were all the babies! We saw two baby monkeys, two tiny baby baboons, baby bunnies, and most importantly, two caracals and one serval cub (the one looking at my camera) in a playpen in the front office! How cool is that, to come to work, and get to play with the kittens in between customers!?!
The Savannah Cat I would like to get one day is a cross between a domestic cat and a serval, and grows to be as big as a dog. That would turn your head if you saw me running down the street with my cat on a leash, wouldn't it? :)
It was a beautiful sunny day, and a very worthwhile trip. I highly recommend going if you've got a free morning, and some kids. Or not. I took way more pictures than I posted here, but here's a link to my Flickr page if you'd like to see the rest. Enjoy!