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Kangaroo Zoo

23 May
Clearly, from my previous post,  I was skeptical when Tim’s mom suggested the kangaroo zoo/Christmas tree farm as a possible  family activity.  My skepticism deepened when I checked out the Zoo’s website, maybe I just couldn’t handle the words Outback and Christmas being used on the same page, it just seemed so cheesy.  I was sure that we’d get there only to see, from a great distance,  a few forlorn roos listlessly picking at grass in a messy pen.  But, clearly I’m a website snob because I couldn’t have been farther off.  If you have an afternoon to burn, head up to Arlington to Outback Christmas Trees & Kangaroo Farm, especially if it is a sunny day in May, but more about why later.  The drive is pretty, the farmland outside Arlington gorgeous, and the roo farm is tidy and charming. 

The tour starts off with a very nice, grandmotherly lady, talking briefly about the lemurs.  She quickly explained the rules which mostly centered around keeping food dropped on the ground out of the children’s mouths.  Then she handed us off to another guide, who started the tour by getting us really close to a gorgeous peacock.  May is peacock mating season, and all of the males were in full feather.  After a brief look at some chickens and ducks, we were escorted into the kangaroo pen. 

The roo pen is big, and full of kangaroos, wallaroos, and wallabies.  Everyone  got to feed and pet the animals, and the guide had a pretty endless supply of treats.  All of the animals were friendly and very gentle; we got to spend a lot of time just hanging out with them.  Kangaroos are amazingly un-smelly, soft to pet, and love to have their necks scratched.  We saw wallabies hopping at an impressive speed, an amazing sight when they are rushing past close enough to hear their feat smacking the ground.  Next, we spent some quality time with llamas.  The llamas weren’t as friendly, but there were a couple that could be fed and the method was somewhat…er… intimate?  These llamas only take handouts if they were offered by mouth.  I promptly started to wonder what exactly the owners were up to when they didn’t have visitors.  James was a little overwhelmed by the llamas at first, and I thought for sure that he wouldn’t be willing lip lock with a  llama, but he sure stepped up.  There might have been some llama-to-child lip action, but it was minimal. 

After the llama kiss fest, we visited with some Emus, who spent most of the visit peaking out from behind the guide.  Every once in a while a head would pop over his shoulder to grab a treat- they moved like Muppets.  We were warned to stay back because Emus bite.  James has been asking a lot about which animals bite, do cows bite, do birds bite, but when faced with a creature that actually does bite, he showed a lot of white around the eyes and more shockingly… stopped… talking. 

After the Emus, we saw pygmy goats and a miniature horse, all of which were a non-event, we didn’t get very close and besides we were still basking in the afterglow of being so close to the kangaroos and llamas.

The grand finale of the tour was wow, just wow.  All the kids, and most of the adults were lined up on benches and we took turns holding a 6-month-old baby wallabie.  She was bundled up in a pink blankety-pouch thingy.  James was so still, and so gentle as he petted the baby, he just knew that she was fragile. 

As we were packing up, we got a curtain call.  A male peacock wandered over, and I’m not sure why, but he went into full display mode for a good 10 minutes, and we were really close.  The colors were stunning.  I have really vague memories of seeing something similar when I was James’s age.  I hope he remembers.

On the way home we stopped at Bob’s Burger and Brew next to the Tulalip Casino.  The food was awesome and quite a fine capper to a gorgeous afternoon.  James and I passed out in the car afterwards. 

I will warn any parent that if your child is well behaved during the visit to the Kangaroo Zoo, the polar opposite behaviour  could emerge upon arrival back home.  James just wrapped up a full, throw self on floor, kick, punch, spit, and cry meltdown, for no apparent reason.  But, inspired, perhaps by all the talk of Emu eggs, he is now nesting a batch of hard-boiled eggs on the couch.  He has wrapped them in a blanket and an egg carton and is hovering over them with the intensity of an Emu going for a treat.

Here are some pictures from the trip, enjoy

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 23, 2009 in Doin'

 

One response to “Kangaroo Zoo

  1. mrsmouthy

    May 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I’m glad it went so well! We’ll definitely have to check it out, but as we went to the Tulip Festival this year it will have to wait until next year. (My husband has limits on no. of road trips and camping trips he can handle.) Hope the hard-boiled eggs did not disappoint!

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