Bear Den Farm

We spent the afternoon at a petting zoo! Namine held and fed animals, and Jessica became an honorary lemur.

Our zoo outings usually consist of visiting the Milwaukee County Zoo. We have visited a couple others, like the Henry Villas Zoo and the Shalom Wildlife Zoo, but this weekend we checked out a brand new one (to us): the Bear Den Farm and Petting Zoo.

Even outside the entrance to the zoo, they lived up to their name with several animals available to be held. Namine held a kitten for a bit while we waited for other family members to arrive.

Along with our tickets, we made sure to get some animal feed. Good thing, too, because just inside the entrance was a holding pen with goats and llamas. Namine and her cousin had a lot of laughs as they petted and fed the animals.

The goats seemed to enjoy Namine’s wheelchair quite a bit too, climbing under and even on it. They tried eating parts of it too, like the brakes and push handles. One even climbed up behind Namine and tried taking a bite of her hair, once she’d run out of food.

We walked around the zoo and saw a pretty wide variety of animals. These were not for petting: porcupines, kangaroos, emus (or is it just emu?), turkeys, hogs, a tortoise, and badgers, to name a few.

The last enclosure we visited was home to a baby ring-tailed lemur named Bindy, a couple of deer, and a baby kangaroo. The zoo employees in the enclosure explained to us how friendly Bindy was. True to their word, she jumped from person to person, including all three of us.

Bindy treated Jessica to a cleaning, licking her neck and the back of her head. Her keeper informed us that lemurs do that for each other, making Jessica an honorary lemur. She did not bestow this (somewhat dubious, if I’m totally honest) honor upon Namine or myself. Personally, I was fine with not being licked by a lemur.

Namine also got to hold a baby kangaroo, which was far calmer than the lemur.

By this point, we only had a small amount of animal feed left. Jessica and Namine fed it to the deer, who for their part were obviously used to people. They were not shy at all, but neither were they obnoxious about being fed — very much unlike the goats.

As we left the farm, Namine wanted to hold one of the kittens again. She also got to hold a chick and pet a bunny.

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