Beautiful bali : Kuta reptile park

Our second day in Bali was hotter & gloomier than usual, so we decided to get out of Kuta and go to the island’s highly-rated Bali Reptile & Bird Park. Boasting hands-on aviaries and plentiful crocodiles (which, according to Trip Advisor, they often fed live chickens to) we hailed a taxi and headed northeast.
Of course, the taxi driver tried to rip us off immediately – and he did, according to the passing signs, take the long way there and back. But the experience was absolutely worth it.
Entrance to the park was a little steep (about $23 per person) but just the first ten minutes indicated that it was money well spent. I love animals and have been to zoos across the country; but Bali’s bird and reptile park is now my favorite. By a long shot.
The park’s grand entrance opens up to gorgeous scenery; lush green trees and grass, exotic plants dotted with bright flowers, and the occasional small, picturesque waterfall. I was as much impressed by the backdrop as I was the animals. It’s plausible that this is what all of Bali look liked before tourism and development settled in.
Although the reptile house was cool, the aviary was simply awesome. We saw rare, tropical birds I had never seen before; birds with bright red and blue and orange beaks, giant peacocks, beautiful swans and multi-colored roosters. Free of charge (a rare occurrence in Bali) we were allowed to hold friendly parrots, which tried to eat both my messy bun and my boyfriends afro. The animals seemed fearless and possibly even interested in people; those in cages often came right up to the fence to look at us while several flocks of wild birds roamed freely.
We found ourselves alone in one of the several unrivaled aviaries, and were quickly accosted by a five-bird flock of peacocks. The first ran across our feet, while the last – I’m assuming the alpha male – opened his beautiful wings for us. He turned right at us and shook his feathers, as if posing for the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime picture. He even allowed us to crouch down next to him, and stared at us blankly. We have peacocks in Hawaii, and I’ve seen them running freely around the San Diego Zoo, but I have never seen one with feathers bared a mere six inches from my feet. It was astounding.
We moved on to the reptile park, which unfortunately only has the Komodo dragons out on Friday and Tuesday 😦 But we saw boa constrictors, small snakes, and were pretty much forced (again, free of charge) to hold giant iguanas. Mine even tried to climb up onto my head, which kind of freaked me out.
What the reptile park really has is every kind of crocodile imaginable. And, true to Trip Advisor, they fed an alligator a live chicken right in front of us and the other tourists. They literally hung it over the side, and an unseen crocodile slammed into the glass so hard I almost ran for my life, crying and screaming. The creature then slammed itself upwards and downed the chicken in a single, tooth-laden bite!
Although he’s obsessed with Komodo dragons, my boyfriend had such great time that he didn’t even care. It was the best experience I’ve ever had at a zoo; there’s something special to having such an exotic, gorgeous place and its equally exotic animals all to yourselves.
Enjoy the pictures!

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