A good friend of mine, Mrs. B told me that there was a really neat zoo type of place called the Bio Park in Nagasaki and that she thought my girls would really like it there. So, we decided that we should go check it out for Elliot's birthday. We invtited the "B" family to go with us and Mrs. B so graciously drove, as I still don't know my way around.
I cannot begin to explain how wonderful this "zoo" is. It's like nothing you will ever find in the states. Here you actually get into the pens with the animals. There are no cages to seperate you from them. Well, there are seperate areas for each animal type, but you get to go into the areas, close the gate behind you and be with them. You can pet them and feed them and some of them even jump on your lap. Not one of the animals we touched, fed or played with ever showed any signs of aggression. Infact, they were all very friendly and gentle. Elliot was tickled pink when a Lemur took some food from her hand.
I remember frequenting the San Diego Zoo when we lived there, which is supposed to be one of the greatest zoo's in the world. Well, I would agree they have a great number of animals and that it's a great place to walk around and look at animals, but this place is hands down the BEST zoo I've ever been too. You may be able to see flamingos at the San Diego Zoo, but at this zoo you actually get to hand feed them!!
There was also a neat "Animal House". In the Animal House there were more common American pets, such as rabbits, cats, sheep, guinea pigs, mice and parrots. There was a little pen with a ton of little black and white mice that kids could hold and pet. There was also a parrot that squawked and when it landed on Elliot's arm, she was a little freaked out..
We also got to make friends with a little capybara that Elliot named "Broomie", causes she said it felt like a broom when she pet it. We spent quite a while in the capybara area, cause one of the employees came in to feed them all watermelon. The girls enjoyed watching them eat the mellon and feeding them their "capyara food" that you could buy from the vending machine for 100 yen.
After our time with the Capybara's we moved along to what was my favorite part of the park. The Spider Monkeys and Lemurs!! These little guys were so sweet and soft. Their little paws were so soft and gentle when they took the food from your hands. I kept expecting to be scratched, but they have no claws. I was hoping to get this picture with his eyes open, but I think the flash made him blink. I also need to say that I was not using a long lens.. These monkeys were literally less than a few inches from me and my camera.
This cute little guy was trying real hard to get a raisin from Hannah's hand without climbing on her lap. I got a great surprise when a Lemur hopped onto my lap when I wasn't paying attenion. I had to toss Hannah the camera real quick, for her to snap this picture before he jumped off.
One of our last stops was the kangaroos. I've never seen a kangaroo, so this was a first for us. Well, I guess most of this was a first for us, as we've never been able to actually get up close and personal with animals like this before. There was one kangaroo that really liked Hannah and attempted to give her a "kiss" before we walked out of the pen..
Now, I know someone who is reading this is thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of germs going around petting all of these wild animals!" Well, to that I say, "That's why at every animal petting station we watched all of the girls do this..."