Today we ventured out to a place called Bester Birds. Bester is the last name of the family that runs this bird and animal “zoo”. We did not get off to the best start this morning. Darin looked out the window and noticed that our car had a flat tire, which was probably caused by thorns. We went for a little drive around James' farm and some other back roads to look for animals the night before, and other than a flat this morning, it was a successful drive. We saw lots of wildebeest, impala, a warthog and some other bok. So this morning Mark came and got our flat tire and dropped it off at Supa Quick, a repair shop in town. Darin rolled the spare over to TYB to fill it up and check for leaks. The spare was good to go, so we packed up, picked up the tire from Supa Quick, and were on our way.
After several wrong turns, we finally made it to Bester Birds. As soon as we walked through the gate we were surrounded by all sorts of animals. In the first cage, there were Jacka** penguins (that is their actual name). It seemed as if there were a few too many for such a small space, but what do I know about housing exotic animals? There were also lots of birds, including Ground Hornbills, which are super sized versions of the regular hornbills, parrots, cockatoos, owls, vultures, and more. There were 3 or 4 different types of monkeys, meerkats, wallabys, a mountain lion, hyenas, and a bunch of other things.
One of the best things about this place is that you can feed a lot of the animals. We were handing carrots and lettuce to these little tiny monkeys and they'd hold the food in their little monkey hands. There were also enclosures that you could go in with guinea pigs, rabbits and baby chicks. You could hold and feed these animals too. Like all other petting zoos, this one had goats. You couldn't go in with them, but they were sticking their heads through their cages. One even managed to get it's head and one leg out. Must have been desperate for some food. There was one big Billy Goat with a long white beard. I'm pretty sure he could have jumped the fence if he wanted. He was up on his back legs leaning half his body over the fence, determined to get fed from every person that passed by. We also had to be on the lookout for giant tortoises. They looked like rocks just sitting there, but then they'd start moving towards you. If you put food in front of them, they'd take it from your hand. One of them kept moving closer and closer to Jori, and she kept backing away. I wish we had remembered our camera because I've never thought a tortoise would interact with people that way.
After an hour and a half, we were done feeding and petting all the animals. We packed up and headed to McDonalds. There were some older kids in the play area who were totally into Jori and Tyson. It was like free babysitting. We used the ten free minutes of internet time, ate our food, let the kids play, then headed to Pick 'n' Pay to restock Darin's pretzel supply.
Later that afternoon, I headed over to TYB to use their internet. I even convinced Darin to let me drive the car over, which was very fun for me. While I was online, I got to “chat” with two of my friends from home, Rachel and Michelle, which was very fun. My mom and I had arranged to chat as well, and after a small snafu, we finally connected. We decided it would be easier to talk by phone, so I headed home to wait for my parents to call. Tyson and Jori were both very excited to talk to Papa John and Grandma Willie.
All around, it was a great day. Animals, chicken nuggets, and talking with family and friends. All good things.