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Anyone ever listened to Peter, Paul, and Mommy? Culture is good. While the girls were away, Cate and I went to the Binder Park Zoo on the 10th. That’s a COOL zoo. It’s in Battle Creek, and costs $8.50 per adult.

Why is it cool? Because it’s a walk in the woods. The cheetahs and snow leopards are in large open areas full of trees, but there are windows on the edge of their area, and they walked right by. There are peacocks wandering all over the grounds, as well as a bunch of other birds that had babies.

When you get there, there’s a small indoor area where you can see huge spiders, huger frogs, REALLY huge snakes, and some whacked hairless underground rats. And vampire bats with bowls of blood.

Also near the front are the kangaroos and wallabies. They have a huge swamp that you can go through on a boardwalk. We didn’t do that whole tour, it’s a swamp.

They have a train ride, which we did, but I was disappointed. It was about a 10 minute ride through the woods. We saw a chipmunk and a deer, but that’s about it.

There’s also an “African Safari” tour. Do that. It’s the best part. They drive you back into the woods where they have an only moderately cheesy “African village”. It has a very nice vista view of their “savanna” which is actually about a 100 acre pen. They have about 8 giraffes, a whole bunch of zebras, gazelles, emu, etc. I was really impressed.

Then from the village, there’s a 0.8 mile walk mostly around the pen. There’s a spot where the giraffe’s come right up to the walk-way, and their heads are right at the level of the handrail. They sell wafers to feed the giraffes to they come right up to people, which is very cool.

Also on that walk is an aviary. You go right in there, and there are exotic birds all around.

There are monkeys, wolves, large deer and all sorts of other critters, all in pens or cages that are VERY well disguised, so it seems like you just come upon them while walking in the woods. The primary way they do that is by making the pens quite large, the animals have plenty of room to run around and stuff. I really like that. I don’t consider myself a greenie much, but zoo’s bother me a bit. I’d be bored silly myself in most zoo cages.

All things considered, you should go to this zoo.

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