A drizzly day in Stoke-on-Trent called for an afternoon escape to one of its hidden wonders, a stop off at the Unconventional Menagerie was just the ticket to combat the mammoth downpour going on outside.
Walk through the doors of this tiny building on the outskirts of the city centre and you may be greeted by the resident tortoise making his rounds of the room, wander further in and a family of meerkats will catch your eye, a wonderland of the strange and exotic, the Unconventional Menagerie houses animals of all sorts and is the perfect place to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.
My personal favourites (apart from the fourty-year-old tortoise making his rounds of the inhabitants) are the baby bunnies living in a side room along with their older counterparts and the rest of your ‘standard’ house pets (including a tarantula and hedgehogs of course). A flurry of birds colourises the scene with their decadent plumage whilst a trip to another room reveals lines of venomous snakes to oggle at under the ‘mind your head’ signage whilst exploring the back reveals foxes and bouncy (but cute) Tanuki among other lively beings.
Peer in to the back and you will even see a dwarf crocodile poking his head out of the water whilst water-bound turtles pop their heads up to say hello whilst timing your visit right could mean an animal photoshoot or meet-and-greet with the animal occupants.
Before you leave, be sure to say hello to the lovely dog occupying the front desk and watch the tortoise doesn’t follow you out!
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