One of the lovely things we did over the weekend was to go to the local pet shop I mentioned a few posts ago, so that the girls could bottle feed the baby maras as a ‘pet experience’. Oscar was supposed to be going too, but was not well enough. I have promised him a trip another day, although it will not be to feed the maras, as they are off to their new home this week.
The pet shop used to be called Scales and Tails, and it has a Facebook page under that name, if you’re keen to check it out. It is now called something like the Exotic Animal Pet Shop, which is not so much fun at all. I think they should have stuck with Scales and Tails.
They specialise in reptiles and tortoises, which is why we visited there in the first place, but do have your standard pet supplies too, as well as some of the more off the wall pet choices, should you be inclined to visit. The selection of strange pets changes fairly regularly, so it’s well worth popping in to see if they have something you never even imagined existed before, much like maras for example.
This is a mara:
It is sort of like a hare crossed with a kangaroo, but related to a capybara, and it is actually a rodent. A cute rodent. A rodent with good PR. Its fur is soft like rabbit fur and a delight to stroke, and when you feed them they make purring noises, like cats. They are most excellent.
The pet experiences are excellently priced at a fiver a head, and you get about fifteen to twenty minutes to muck about with the animals on offer.
While the girls were cooing over the maras, I was being befriended by Trevor the cockatoo. It would have been very tempting to rip the feeding bottles from the girls’ hands and make free with the maras myself. That however, would have been very mean and not at all a top mama kind of thing to do. I stuck with Trevor.
Trevor, it transpires, is a devil for the ladies. He does not tolerate men or small children, but is very fond of females. He shows this by making a strange clicking noise with his beak and giving you the glad eye. If you stick your fingers through the bars at this point he will then carefully groom you with his beak until he considers that you are suitable material for his cockatoo bride.
He is rather jealous. When I moved over to say hello to the baby raven they currently have in the shop, which you could feed as another pet experience should you so desire, Trevor went bonkers. He does not like to share his women. Luckily for Trevor there seems to be a fairly steady stream of female admirers all willing to pander to his tendencies and he was soon pacified.
I didn’t get a picture of the pygmy mongeese, mainly because they don’t stay still and are forever tumbling over each other, sticking their snoots in each others ears and clamouring for attention, but I have to say that they are my absolute favourites.
Don’t tell Trevor.
If you are local to the area, I highly recommend the entire shop/experience/service. The staff are knowledgeable and treat the animals splendidly and the animals are clearly thriving. I have been looking for a good pet shop for a while. The shop we got Tiberius from is fantastic, but is a forty minute drive away, and it is rather a chore to go there as often as we need to, and I despise Pets At Home which has, up to now, been our nearest store. I’d much rather give my money to a well set up shop where the animals are having a rather wonderful existence. Looks like we’ve found it.