(Heads bowed to all the animals and humans in need in Houston.)
On our long drive home, we stopped at a gas station rest stop in Scipio, Utah. As we made the loopdeloo to the gas station, I noticed a bunch of brand new barns and animal shelters across the street.
So, after we got gas, I walked over to the Scipio Petting Zoo.
Now, this wasn’t an ordinary petting zoo… all the animals weren’t stuck in one pen and harassed continuously by other animals and hoards of humans.
This was very different.
First off, I was the only one there, besides the lovely caretaker, Sean. Second, All the animals had their own, clean, properly appointed pens. There were so many pathways to turnouts with interesting twists and turns, plus tons of shady areas, I felt like I was on the jungle ride at Disneyland.
As I gingerly approached the entrance (I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed…), Sean was hosing down an emu, who seemed to be loving it. I could see from the outside, where I was, that there were 2 other emus – so I went to their pen first. That second eye on an emu face is quite shocking! He stared at me and I stared at him.
The other emu was blustering with a fully expanded male turkey. There was a pea hen (female peacock) and her babies, ducks, swans, geese and chickens.
Sean came over and immediately engaged me. He showed me all the pens and nests (with pride) and told me that the owners of the gas station are animal lovers – and all of these animals had been rescued from bad situations.
WEDNESDAY, THE CAMEL.
And then I saw the camel.
OMGosh. A camel! I have always wanted to meet a camel! Always! And here he was. Laying down, pouting, I was told.
When Sean saw that I was frozen in delight at the sight of the camel, he immediately invited me into his pen.
“This is Wednesday. When he was a baby, he was part of a live nativity scene. The owners saw him and went back with their checkbook. They had to get him out of there. And he’s been here ever since. He’s 7.”
Oh my gosh!!! I was beside myself with glee!
“Go on, pet him at his shoulder…”
At this point, Sean was playing with Wednesday. The camel let out this sound… a sound I could only describe as “from a Wookie”… and I stepped back.
Me: “Did he just make that noise?”
Sean: “Yes, we are playing!”
Me: “That was a happy sound?!”
Sean: “Yes! We are best buddies. He has been pouting all morning because I have been cleaning and not playing with him.”
Sigh. A pouting camel. Does it get any better?
HOLY ZONKEY, BATMAN!
It would be tough to top my joy over meeting Wednesday… but the zonkeys were a close second. These two had been rescued as well. Sisters. 4 and 5 years old. Both were very plump and healthy looking. Very vibrant.
Hubby was in love with the alpacas. They looked like ‘live stuffed animals’ to him. The baby was only 4 weeks old. Hubby wanted to take the baby home.
Of course, that was only after he played with the goats forever. Hubby was so busy with the goats, we didn’t get any photos!
They also had several of those HUGE rabbits you see in the UK. All of them were big and chill. I petted one and he just rolled over. “More, please…”.
They didn’t ask for any fee, just a donation if you wanted. (I wanted.). Also, all the food Sean gave out to feed the animals was free.
I did some research and found out that the zoo had just had a makeover. And I could tell that Sean was very proud and kept it very, very nice and clean.
Evidently, the Coast to Coast Carports and metal barns had given them a great deal on all the new barns in exchange for such a great advertising site right off of a very busy highway. Wow! What a great deal! I was so impressed with how they had everything set up, I went home with a Coast to Coast brochure myself!!
Anyway, meeting Wednesday and all the other animals was a highlight of our journey. Loved it.