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The Great GuZoo

05/23/05

  11:48:40 pm, by Nimble   , 498 words  
Categories: Reviews, Attractions

The Great GuZoo

Gustafson's zoo, a.k.a. the "GuZoo", just north of Three Hills, Alberta, has had more than its share of controversy. It has been accused of neglect, inadequate shelter, and the like. It's still on the dirty side in a number of spots, but in general feels more like a farm. It didn't seem all that bad in person, though certain not comparable to the Calgary Zoo, and it's much more hands-on than any other zoo is likely to be, so I'll just report on my experience there.

It's an informal little place. Twelve basset hounds patrol the entrance area, and a pen full of guinea pigs are just inside. Guinea pigs make great sounds, and I just had flashbacks to chasing animals around some folks' farms as a kid. You'll know if you try picking them up in pet stores - they run away, but they're fine once they're picked up.

There are bags of breads and buns to give to some of the animals. The camel in particular enjoyed it. There are goats in a pen to play with, and one human kid visitor had gotten particularly adept at picking up the goat kids, and offered to fetch one. The goats are pretty used to visitors, and mama goat stayed close by, but didn't panic. The young goat was pretty dang soft, and nearly fell asleep in my arms *laugh*.

(One thing I must say that's a little politically incorrect - goats... well, they smell like their meat smells)

Encountering a goat a little later and chasing it back to its pen, it's likely that a few goats are really only there voluntarily (pretty spectacular watching it get back into its pen).

There are some animals (dogs, cats, birds) that are kept for adoption. There was a very nice cat there, and a pretty nice macaw, given up by someone unprepared for macaw behaviour.

Pigs like behind the ears scratched and they like to be fed, but they don't like to be petted. The degus were extremely tame, and very hierarchical. There are some pretty ugly-looking ducks that sounded like they were panting (I've seen the species before, but I can't remember what it was called).

Ostriches are dumb. Oh goodness me, dumb. Emus and rheas totally put them to shame. Try feeding them, and you'll see what I mean!

There are coyotes (never seen one before!), tigers, monkeys, yaks, deer and bears, most behind "Do Not Feed/Do Not Touch" signs (heeeere, tiger, tiger, tiger :) ) - the GuZoo is a little larger than it looks from the road.

A few of the animals in GuZoo look pretty likely to be rescue animals. I didn't see much in the way of filth in the pens and the like, save for the cage where the doves were kept. Some of the pens were too small, but nothing seemed to be suffering.

What to say? I hope they've been improving since the controversies around 2000. Personally, I found the visit pretty enjoyable.

2 comments

Comment from: kathy [Visitor]  
kathy

Your site is the only one I have discovered so far regarding guzoo that is not attacked by the devon character that blasts in to every site that mentions guzoo. I have yet to find a site that actually uncovers the truth about her and her vendetta against guzoo. I did find a video published by devon where she shows herself taunting and teasing her bird on v camera in front of a big screen TV. She definitly is the ultimate animal rescuer????

09/28/07 @ 15:15
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

Ask and ye shall receive, I guess :)

10/03/07 @ 11:27
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