Friday, September 3, 2010

Glen Forest

One of my favorite places is Glen Forest Farm near Port Lincoln in South Australia.
It’s a tourist farm that specializes in close encounters with native animals and I’ve been bringing my girls here for many years. These days my girls are mothers themselves and we still like to visit now and then to expose the grandkids to the experience.
D3 (my youngest) took her own son recently for his first visit, as you can see, he had the best time. We also took her daughter (miss 2) who didn’t like the animals one bit….It will be better next time. She did provide many good laughs though as she freaked every time an animal came close. At one point a huge, nasty, vicious Budgerigar landed on her knee which had her convinced she was in danger of her life.
I’ve known the Kangaroos pictured since many of them were joeys themselves and now they have their own young. These are Wallabies or Euros which live in scrub or bushland and are similar but smaller than the much larger Red and Blue desert Kangaroos. As you can see they’re really quite friendly as are most Roos, so long as you don’t corner or threaten them.
Kangaroos have a sweet tooth and we always bring some dried fruit mixed with grain and animal pellets, this ensures you get plenty of new friends. The fences you see are to prevent the Roos following you around all day, not to lock them up in any way. They have safe places they can retreat to if they feel uneasy or threatened. (Usually by unsupervised children)
Of course you will be familiar with news stories of Roos kicking the shit out of people, but this only ever happens if they are mistreated or cornered. Kangaroos can’t hop or walk backwards so if you get in their face or surround them they panic with unfortunate results.
The aviary at Glen Forest is huge to say the least, about eight years ago there was a huge fire in the area with many people lost to the flames, smoke suffocated the parks thousands of birds before they could be released. It’s taken a long time to breed up the birds again and there is still a long way to go but what birds there are have already become friendly. The parrots you see all prefer the dried fruit mix and are happy to land all over you to get at the food treats. With a full belly they sit and preen your hair for ages, parting the strands and untangling any knots with great dexterity.
D3 has loved the aviary since her first time here when she was four (18 years ago) and she’s happy to sit for hours with the birds making friends and feeding them. Many of these birds are still quite shy, but in the end they all come to her for a feed.
There are many more animals including Emu, Dingo, Koala, Bulls, Cows, Buffalo, Camel, Peacock, Rabbits etc, etc. A more complete set of pics can be seen at my Flickr site if you’re interested.



Jen said...

Those birds look very friendly. I don't know if I'd like having them try to groom my hair, though. My cats drive me crazy when they try.

Tempo said...

They are quite friendly Jen, but then they are parrots, and parrots have very sharp, very strong beaks. I'm always a bit twitchy about having them so close, D3 though has no fear.

Culture Served Raw said...

lovely photos, thanks for sharing. I really miss going to these places as a child

Kymical Reactions said...

Tempo, I find birds weird. And kind of creepy. BUT - kangaroos seem fun. I wasn't aware they were good animals for petting zoos. Hummm. It makes me wonder if we have them here. I haven't been to a zoo, let alone a petting zoo, in ages. I think I need to take care of that soon.

Tempo said...

Hi CSR, Like most grandparents I only take the kids so I can go to these places without seeming weird... :-)

Hiya Kym, Raised properly Roos are very friendly animals and I know several people who have them as house pets. They can be house trained easily and are just fine as pets. I guess you only see them when there are stories of them going mad from bad handling, but they are in fact very gentle animals.

Pearl said...

I had no idea kangaroos couldn't hop or walk backwards, although now that you say it, it makes sense...

I'd laugh myself silly if I had roos eating out of my hands and birds on my head. :-) This is fabulous.


Tempo said...

If you want to see something really funny Pearl, you give them an unpeeled banana... They love sweet fruit and peel it with no problem at all. Everyone around always laughs their heads off.