Both Steve and I read about Genesis Nature Park and wanted to check it out during our driving tour. At first, we drove right by it because we did not expect it to be in the front yard of a house. Once we realized that was it we reluctantly walked up. We were met by Michael Spencer and he quickly put us at ease.
Even though Genesis Nature Park is in Michael’s front yard he has done everything he can to make this petting zoo and animal shelter as magnificent as he can. The first thing that struck me was how beautiful the grounds were. Michael has found some historic artifacts around the island and transported them to his house to both display them to the public and to also preserve them from being lost in time. He has put these around the yard and landscaped around them, making the beautiful garden I saw.
Now that Michael was warmed up we went on a whirl wind tour of his yard meeting each and every animal in Genesis Nature Park. He introduced us to Chico, his peanut stealing monkey, by having him take peanuts out of his pocket. We also heard the tragic story of how Chico’s mate died after eating a poisoned rat. ☹ From there we saw a boa that has bread 30 or so babies and will be released soon. There were several birds to watch including parrots, macaws, and ducks, but it was the eagle that he rehabilitated from a hurt wing that I found the most fascinating. Michael told us how the eagle is able to snag chickens that are stupid enough to wander to close to the chain link fence.
Before we got to Genesis Nature Park I was the most excited to see the three caimans. They are related to alligators and crocodiles, but smaller and not nearly as aggressive. It is amazing how still they sit and seem to blend into the surrounding grass.
As much as I loved meeting all the animals at Genesis Nature Park, nothing prepared me to meet Alf, the 3 month old wild pig. Michael has been bottle feeding him since birth and he follows him around like a puppy. Alf was so hungry and let us cuddle him like a baby just so he could drink his bottle. While feeding Alf Michael told us how he grew up in the house across the street, surviving a hurricane, and other tales of local life. It is times like this that I love most when you really get to know a local and hear stories you will not hear otherwise. He even gave me a special 50th anniversary 50 TT (Trinidad & Tobago dollar) bill when I told him I collected paper currency from different countries I visit.
If you ask me I think Genesis Nature Park deserves 5+ stars and it is all because of Michael and his love for the animals. As I write this I can’t help by think to myself “how can I get back there to visit the park again”. 😊