20/2/10 - Best zoo ever

Walked to Frankton, a small town two hours walk from Queenstown. Saw a sign saying Zoological Gardens so I followed it down a path to the gardens and they were brilliant. At first I thought it was a piss take calling it zoological gardens, I have seen more exotic animals in an average pet shop. What made the 'zoo' worth visiting was the owner of the house, a wonderful old man called Ivan.

Ivan obviously didn't get many visitors because when he saw me he assumed I was lost and pointed me back towards the walking track. I told him I'd like to look around the gardens and he said it would cost $15 then started driving away on his mobility scooter. I caught up with him and said that was fine and although he looked at me like I was simple for wanting to look at some pigeons and rabbits for $15 he began to take me on a tour. Ivan had a stroke last year and so was quite unsteady when out of his scooter but he still got in to each cage to show me the baby budgies, pigs and pheasants and told me the story of how he came to have each of them. He had worked for the SPCA and slowly collected animals that were stuck there in small cages or due to be put down. I spent a great hour with a great old man and gave him $20 for the privilege as I could see it all went to the animals.