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Kangaroo Kisses in Fall City, Washington

Have you ever kissed a Kangaroo or pet a Wallaby? I hadn’t either. But this weekend was pure magic. When we made reservations for the Fall City Wallaby Ranch, I knew that the kids would have a great day. But I didn’t realize that my husband and I would love it just as much. We truly felt like kids on Christmas Day playing those sweet roos.

Our tour started with a thirty-minute educational video about Kangaroos. Our tour leader, and Ranch owner, Rex Paperd, answered everyone’s questions and was exceptionally great with the kids.

You could immediately tell that Rex loves these animals, and they are a big part of his family. He was just as excited as we were to see those big barn doors open to the Kangaroo and Wallaby playground.

Once we were all inside, Rex passed out some little pieces of wheat bread to each of us and encouraged the kids to get right up to them, pet them, feed them and love on them. Our three year old was NOT hesitant at all. She was even one of the first people to get up next to the giant Red Kangaroo and feed him bread- FROM HER MOUTH! It was the cutest Kangaroo kiss I have ever seen.

We spent an hour playing with the Kangaroos and Wallabies. There was plenty of space and enough animals for everyone to pet separately and not overwhelm them. There were a few shy Wallaby’s, but they were all soaking up the attention for the most part. They would hop right up to you and were so curious. I had a massive smile on my face the entire time. Watching the kids experience that was honestly the best thing that has happened this year.

My favorite Kangaroo was a little boy (just under 2 years old) who only wanted belly rubs. If you stopped petting him, he would gently nudge you or touch you with his paws. You could tell that he was spoiled and used to getting his way. When he decided to get up, he bounced right over to Rex and begged for food and attention. He also tried to play with him and was grabbing his arms. He was full of personality and made us all laugh so much.

The Fall City Wallaby Ranch is owned by Rex and Tawny Paperd. Their ten-acre ranch, located in the Snoqualmie Valley, was clean and very welcoming. The Ranch “is a USDA Licensed and Inspected Facility dedicated to the breeding of world-class Gray and Albino Bennetts Wallabies and Red Kangaroos.” They offer educational tours, private educational programs, and emotional services through equestrian and Exotic Animal Interaction.

Tickets are $15 per person, and we were there for 90mins. It was the perfect amount of time too. With the educational video, questions, and an hour of playtime, we really felt like it was worth it. We were able to socially distance, everyone wore masks, and there was plenty of hand sanitizer. Rex told us that the saddest part about giving tours during Covid-19 is that he can no longer see everyone’s smiles. But at least the laughter and giggling were plentiful. And for that, we are grateful.

If you are interested in having a Wallaby as a pet, the Fall City Wallaby Ranch is a great resource. They have rescued numerous Wallaby’s and Kangaroos and even breed them. Their website has a lot of information regarding adopting kangaroos or wallabies as pets. As with any animal, please do your research before purchasing. And if you have any questions, I’m sure that Rex and Tawny would love to answer any of your questions.

Rex told us he has a lot of requests to visit and only a small amount of visitors are allowed each day. Unfortunately, people have been booking times to visit and no showing. Which winds up leaving empty spots in the few spots he has a day available. Empty spots that could’ve been filled by the many people he has to turn away because those spots have been schedule.

It has always been my husband’s dream to have a Wallaby and take him on little “hops” throughout the neighborhood. He has talked about it for years. I always laughed off this dream of his, but after seeing them up close and learning more about them- now I want on too! Needless to say, the kids were begging us the entire drive home for a pet Wallaby. For now, I will stay strong. But I might have to go back often for my Kangaroo kisses!

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Written by Heather Dembeck

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