We made the trip up to Woburn Safari Park so that I could pet the wallabies. I’m a big fan of the wallabies. I just want to give them a hug. But they don’t like that kind of thing, but they will let you pet them so long as they’re being distracted by food.
We’d been to Woburn on a previous occasion on the way back from someplace else, one freezing January Sunday when our Bill was very, very small.
Now Bill is closer to 3 than to 2, so we made a special overnight trip. We enjoyed driving through the safari park seeing the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). We were able to get extraordinarily close to a rhino – which I found scariest of all. A lion may be able to tear you to shreds, but it’s unlikely to be able to put its head through your windshield.
I had heard about the lemur area before our first visit, but sadly it was closed. Maybe it was too cold for the lemurs. This time it was open, but on our first walk through all we could see from the decked walkway humans must use were a few sleeping lemurs. A short while later, the lemurs were moving around and we were able to get quite close to the lemurs as the perched on the deck to poo onto our walkway. The lemurs seem to have a kind of disdainful tolerance for the humans. And I feel the poo on the decking was a sign of how they really feel about us.
Bill felt the need to tell the lemurs not to poo at us, but if you look at the anal area of the lemur you will see that his chastisement was ineffective. The keeper said they poo on the walkway because it’s “not their area” and they don’t like to walk in their own shit, but that wasn’t the impression that I got at all. I think it was a message.
These black and white lemurs are among the largest of the lemur species and they’re bigger than a large cat. They’re impossibly adorable, so you just want to pick them up and squeeze them and take them home in your hand luggage and let them jump around your house and hope that the keeper was right about them not wanting to poo in their own area so that they’d sit on the fence and poo into your neighbour’s garden.
But they are also very noisy. When I was standing right next to a pair of them on Day 1 they started barking and screeching over some kind of internal lemur politics. Freaked me out and I think it scared the toddler, too – as he made a dash for the exit and only cheered up when he was watching some penguins swim underwater.
That incident kinda put a damper on our next visit to the lemurs on the following day. We managed to get in about 5 minutes after it opened on a Bill didn’t want to enter the lemur cage. And then when a saw a small, cute brown lemur being handled by one of the keepers, he freaked and tried to run down the pathway. When he ran into this bundle of cuteness/terror.
And when I got to pet some of these lemurs. Bill tried to stop me. “Don’t touch, Mommy.”
But nothing, nothing was going to stop me petting a lemur. Some of them are apparently quite friendly, but others will nip at you according to the keeper. I petted the friendly ones, but Simon managed to pet an ‘nippy’ one. Without incident, thankfully.