Behind every good kid is a great father. This holds true for both humans and animals of Animal Adventure Park.
The interactive zoo at Harpursville is home to many daddy animals, some welcoming their first offspring, others having fathered many prior.
Jordan Patch, the high-spirited owner of Animal Adventure Park, is a new dad himself.
Before Jordan welcomed his bundle of joy, he spent every waking moment chalking out plans to make the park perfect. Animal Adventure Park was his “dream” and “focus.” When his baby girl Ava arrived, Jordan’s world was re-evaluated and prioritized. His life now is a far cry from what it was.
Although Jordan succeeded in making Animal Adventure Park a worldwide sensation, his journey as a dad has been nothing short of a whirlwind. “Becoming a new parent is much like opening a new business—in my eyes,” says Jordan.
While there is uncertainty, pressure, and fear, there are also moments of joy, surprises, and the beauty of watching the growth, he says.
“Ava has given my wife Colleen and me a run for our money. What I have always said is no parent, certainly not a new parent, ‘signs up’ to have a child with health issues or special needs. It is a card you are dealt, or perhaps a blessing you have been given, and you quickly adapt to your new ‘normal,'” said Jordan.
Despite these challenges, the couple has made it a point to stay positive. “We continue to push forward. Our little girl is a pretty amazing little ‘Tootie,'” he said.
Offering words of wisdom to new fathers and fathers-to-be, Jordan said, “Be ready and prepared for the ride of your life with your new child. You will have your wins and your losses; all of them, moments — and soon memories —that will be fatherhood.”
Jordan’s Dad Was An Inspiration Throughout
Five years ago, it was just Jordan and his dad Joe, in an open cow field, pounding poles, erecting fences, and discussing what was to be. Back then, the park was simply land.
Today, the park is home to over 200 animals, representing 80 species, impacting the lives of their visitors, young and old. The park also plays a key role in educating the world on the conservation needs of many animals beyond just their famous giraffes.
Jordan’s father Joe Patch has always been a pillar of strength.
“His support has been monumental. As a dad does, he filled shortcomings when the dream was in its infancy, and now can sit back and beam with pride over what has become. Once in a while, we do sit back and reminisce about the beginning of Animal Adventure and sharing those ‘pinch yourself’ moments,” said Jordan.
The popular daddy animals that have been stealing the show at Animal Adventure Park are Oliver the giraffe, Boomer the kangaroo, and Manny the wallaby.
Other critters include squirrel monkeys, muntjac deer, Sika deer, Patagonian cavies, llama, Barbados ram, and pygmy goats, among others.
As evident from the live cam, Oliver the giraffe naturally is curious of his new son but plays no role in rearing. The park’s squirrel monkey family, on the other hand, communally checks on the mother and the baby, offering food and treats. These fathers also play an active role in grooming. The goats at Animal Adventure Park play with their kids. The daddy kangaroo and wallabies get nose to nose with their little ones in mom’s pouch.
Depending on the species, the daddy animals play a different role.
Check out Carrie Ann Grippo-Pike’s Father’s Day tribute to Oliver.
Curious to see these critter dads? Head to Animal Adventure Park today.
[Featured Image by Animal Adventure Park]