Despite the season’s rainy opening, the Kangaroo Creek Farm is running well with its furry creatures.
Caroline Wightman owns the farm with her husband Greg, and said snow covered the ground in some places, but it didn’t deter visitors for the opening on March 18.
The farm features tradition farm animals like pigs and goats, but with a special twist. Giant guinea-pig creatures, capybaras, squirrel-like sugar gliders and four species of macropod (kangaroo and kangaroo cousins) roam the grounds.
Visitor Katrina Fast, 11, said she wanted to see the sugar gliders, which originate from Austrailia.
“They’re soft and furry, and they’re really cute,” she said.
Wightman has owned macropods since 1989, but she came upon them unexpectedly.
A friend asked her if she would save some macropods from New Zealand, otherwise, they’d be euthanized.
Wightman has lived on her parent’s farm since she was 15 and agreed to house the animals on the land for a short time.
The 10 macropods arrived but never left. Her friend never came to get the animals and through the years they bred and multiplied.
“It went on and on,” said Wightman, adding she began to build homes for them so they could survive the winter. The furry critters multiplied from 10 to 28.
They became pets, each macropod earned a name, and feeding them wasn’t difficult as they ate horse feed in the colder months. Wightman also hand-reared them so they were comfortable with humans.
The petting farm started as an experiment, however in 2013. Wightman’s sons, Neil and Peter MacPherson, wanted to have a lemonade stand, but she thought it would be too much work so she suggested it would be easier to showcase the kangaroos to earn some money.
“I said why don’t you make yourself some signs that say ‘come see our kangaroos’ and you can bring people down the driveway and give them a tour,” she said, adding they only had about 10 kangaroos out in the field at the time.
Although the signs were misspelled as her sons were in elementary school and visitors were skeptical, the MacPherson’s made around $70.
The petting farm grew from there. Today, the farm has more than 40 macropods and four different species; two species of kangaroos, the wallaroos and reds and the two species of wallabies which include camas and bennetts along with a trove of sugar gliders, pigs, peacocks, capybaras, chickens and more.
Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors and children under five are free. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at 3193 Hill Rd.
To find out more information visit the farm’s website.
Even though Wightman is from England, most people assume she’s Australian.
“Even Australians assume I’m Australian, it’s hilarious,” she laughed.