I finally met a real sloth up close!!

He looks so happy, excited & energetic here because he just found out he won
the lottery, a car and a vacation back to South America.

Today was supposed to be a day without a post, but then I took my boys to TGR Exotic Wildlife Park in Spring, Texas this afternoon.  I had no choice but to write a post to tell you all about this place!  My original idea was to place our pictures on Facebook to get the word out that way amongst personal friends of mine, but then the pictures and the experience of this awesome place could not be shared as easily with people that I didn't know.  TGR Exotic Wildlife Park in no way compensated me in any way to write this post.  I am doing it entirely on my own because I want you to know about it!

This is Gwen, the owner of TGR Exotics, feeding a lemur.
We have been to zoos and we have been to drive-through feed-the-animals-from-a-tram-or-from-your-own-car places.  This isn't like either of those places.  It's better!  TGR Exotic Wildlife Park feels like being in the really big backyard of a close friend with lots and lots and lots of animals- camels, hyenas, tamandua, coati, deer, porcupines, gibbons, SLOTHS, tigers, chickens and more!  It made us feel like we were on a behind-the-scenes tour of a small zoo, but even better!  The people were so, so, soooo nice!  They were very attentive, friendly and encouraged lots of questions.  The owner, Gwen, and one of the keepers, Kim, were so very kind, knowledgeable and fun. 

We sat in front of the gibbons' cage and watched them play
for the longest time.  I think the gibbons liked my son's shirt.

This afternoon from 2 to 4 the boys and I went on an "Animal Enrichment Fun Day".  WE WERE THE ONLY ONES THERE and had the attention of both Gwen & Kim.  THE ONLY ONES!  It was amazing!!  The boys made "toys" for coatis, porcupines, chickens, anteaters and gibbons that included food, like peanut butter, honey, peanuts & raisins, and paper, toilet paper rolls, etc.  The toys for the chickens had to be very simple given that they have "bird brains".  After making the toys, we all went out to the respective cages and the toys were given to the animals.  The boys were in absolute awe as they watched the animals enjoy their creations. 

We learned that:
-porcupines don't really shoot their quills
-sloths can't burp or fart
-Chewbacca's voice was inspired by the sound of the camel
-monkeys have tails (Curious George is not a monkey!)

Here the boys are putting crepe paper all over the porcupine's cage.
The porcupine is asleep in the cage & will play with all of this tonight.

Next week they have an Animal Encounter Evening with kangaroos.  There will be a discussion about kangaroos and joeys, a craft/activity dealing with the sweet animals and an "encounter" with the kangaroo.  If I heard correctly, the children will be able to hold a joey.  After that, there will be s'mores around the fire pit.  Sounds fun, right??  It is $15 a person, but advanced registration is required.

A porcupine playing with one of the toys the boys made.

Seriously, y'all, this place ROCKS!  I cannot believe I have lived here as long as I have and have never even heard about TGR Exotic Wildlife Park.  Yesterday was the first time I had even heard about it and it was because I received an e-mail from them.  I'm still not sure how they ever got my e-mail address, but I'm glad they did!  If you are in the Houston area, you should check this place out!
You can find their website here and follow them on Facebook here. Be sure to call ahead before coming to visit, as not every day is open to the public.  Even on days they are open to the public, they may have a group scheduled during the "open zoo" time.