Saunders Country Critters and Garden Center is located southeast of Kemptville. The garden center offers a nice assortment of annuals, perennials and hanging baskets for sale. In the entrance to the garden center are a couple of cages featuring a pair of squirrel monkeys and a three-toed sloth, so you can enjoy walking through the greenhouses, lovely in the spring, and visit the animals as well.
I’m not certain if this is the male or the female squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). The male is named Mr. Stitches, because he came to Saunders after he was attacked by younger males in the troop he was living with. Squirrel monkeys are native to the tropical areas of South America, where they live in trees and are diurnal, active during the day. They enjoy a diet of fruit and insects. Squirrel monkeys have the largest brain, proportionally to their body mass, of any of the primates.
We visited the zoo after we were done at the garden center. The zoo has a variety of domestic animals such as these donkeys.
For many years, when we attended the Royal Agricultural Fair, we were sure to visit the “ducks in hats”. This sign explains how crested ducks get their ‘hats’. It reads, in part: “The crest is formed from a mass of fatty tissue that emerges through a gap in the cranium. From this, feathers grow.”
This charming llama, seeing that the grass was clearly greener on the other side of the fence, was almost as much outside the fence as inside. Down the way, a hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus sp.) was bustling about his pen, but stopped to take a look at us. We probably looked a bit blurry, as these South American animals have poor vision. Look at those diggers! No wonder they are noted burrowers.