As I have said before, it’s always an interesting time at Evin Thayer Studios! Last week I was hired to photograph at TGR Exotic Wildlife Park for BCP Veterinary Pharmacy, an animal-only pharmacy specializing in flavored prescription medicines.  BCP is doing a calendar that will feature exotic animals to provide to their clients for 2013.  TGR Exotic is an animal breeding and refuge for exotic animals that provides animals for zoos.  They also take in animals that need a home.

We were first greeted by Daisy the pig at the gate.  Did you know that pigs wag their tail just like a dog when they are happy?  All day Daisy followed us while we walked the property.  I felt like I was in the middle of a live “Lion King” movie!  Any moment the animals would break into singing “Hakuna Matata”!  You could tell all the animals loved Gwen Scott and the other caretakers.  Yes, there was even a Wart Hog! Whether it was a Camel, Pig, Water Buffalo, Ape, or Bearcat, all of them wanted your attention.  The animals wanted you to pet them and they would nuzzle you until you gave them the attention they wanted! Personally for me, the most moving moment came when Peaches, the Gibbon ape, came up and gave me a hug.  (More than once!)  For some reason we really bonded.  She even let me give her a hand massage.  Each of the apes had their own very distinct personality.  Does anyone know the difference between an Ape and a Monkey? The animal park had over a hundred different species!  I learned so much that day!  From what each animals diet is like, what diseases they are likely to get, to how long they live.  I was struck by how smart the animals are. (Many times much smarter than us in some ways.) The only animal that did not take to me was the Bengal Tiger.  It may have been because she is 18 years old and she had a sore paw.  Her roar was ferocious and she eats whole turkeys for dinner!  Apparently, the bones are good for digestion. TGR Exotics does give tours for kids and I think this would be a wonderful learning experience for any child.  I know it was for me! Besides holding Peaches, we were able to hold a baby Kangaroo, baby Bearcat, baby Aardvark (anyone ever seen one?) and baby pigs. Now this is what I call a good day! Later this year, I will show you the final results from the calendar of exotic animals.