Monday, July 28, 2014

The WILD Animal Park, Chittenango, NY

Friday I took the boys to The WILD animal Park in Chittenango, NY.

Although it is much like a zoo, it had several animals that our local zoo does not have so it was nice to see some different animals.

The park is one of the few local attractions that is fairly new to my awareness and I had only just heard of the place a few weeks before our visit. Initially I thought it was a wildlife refuge and it might be, but there was nothing noted around that notion.
The admission price was a little steep by my standards especially since I didn't have my usual coupons or discounted tickets. $12- got the boys in and unlimited time in the bouncy houses. $8- without the bounce house. $9- for adults. (I am CHEEP, I'll admit it). A few dollars extra will give you some carrots for the giraffe and a cup of grains for the petting area.
 It was also INCREDIBLY crowded for a weekday. Not so crowded that we couldn't enjoy ourselves, but it made it difficult to see the animal shows and for the boys to play in the bounce houses. There were a few school buses full of summer camp kids that made it tight, noisy and a little crazy, but the park has a nice flow and there was plenty of viewing space to view most of the animals.

First up was a small area of goats and other farm animals. Right beside the goats were the donkey's. They were so cute, I enjoyed time with these guys.

They didn't even seem to care if we didn't have any feed to give them. Their friend the Lama came out with her pretty little leg warmers all ready for the 80's and a little Flash dance!

We never did figure out what was going on with this cow? Is she pregnant? Does he/she need a dentist?

It made it's way over to us despite how uncomfortable getting across the barnyard was.
The crocodiles were pretty cool. For a quarter you could feed them little pellets. They didn't move much..but took off quick for those little pellets.

They were tiny tiny little guys, but I wouldn't want to take a swim, the ones on the grass sun bathing didn't even look alive.
Next was this guy.......................HUUMPPP DAYYYY!!!!

He was so close we could pet him and feed him too.  There were some Kangaroo's too, but they were hiding  in their dens and I couldn't get a good picture of them.

The tropical birds were pretty we spent some time trying to get them to say "Polly want a cracker" with NO LUCK! I cannot remember the name of these little diggers. They had their nose in the ground digging the entire time.

And the turtles.

The Zebra's....they were caged as the sign says they BITE!!!
Wished I didn't have a fence in front of their beautiful colors.

We came up next to the tiger feeding. This was where we had a difficult time seeing the animals due to the crowds.

And when they were not being fed they were hiding in the far corners of their cage. This albino tiger was beautiful.

The boys took some time to play on the bounce houses before we moved on to the Lions. The kids surrounding the lions realized that if they started running the lions would chase them. I felt so sorry for the lions and reminded my kids that it was cruel to tease these guys. My paranoia thought it wasn't such a good idea to have the children's play area directly across from the lions in the first place either.

There are some nice picnic area on a small pond where you can rent paddle boats or have lunch. These areas were completely packed with the kids from summer camp, so we pushed on to the next animals.

The porcupine and the deer.

The doe were so cute.
Far off in the distance was the wolf.
 How this guy can hold his head up is beyond me.

The bears were the over all favorite, we stayed and watched these guys for some time.

They were the most fun a pair of real performers.
The bear's neighbor was a jaguar who watched with interest as these two played. He suddenly sprung at the side of his cage...

The ostrich is one odd looking guy...we enjoyed looking at him and is mannerisms.

Just around the corner was the giraffe

We all had a great time, it is easy to see why this place was so crowded. Most of the animals were out and bout ready to say hello. There was good flow and plenty to do. Glad we took the 45 minute drive to do it. Animals are so fascinating. I remembered this poem from when I was a little kid
and the zoo always makes me think of it.

Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he’d been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that’s as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at ’im.

The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You’ll find the Lion’s rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won’t let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can’t trust his teeth.
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John Ciardi, "Why Nobody Pets the Lion in the Zoo" from The Reason for the Pelican (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1959). Used by permission of the Ciardi Family Publishing Trust.

Source: The Reason for the Pelican (Lippincott, 1955)