Australia Day done right.
I'm feeling extremely guilty about how far behind I am on entries... it's been 3+ weeks since my trip to the zoo, and I just got back from an incredible trip to Cairns, which is more presently relevant. I'll try to have my pictures developed and an entry posted by next week, but I can't make any promises because I have two midterms, a project, and a paper due.
Anyway, Australia Day was a day for heading to the Australia Zoo, also known as the Steve Irwin Zoo. After a short bus ride, we arrived and took a quite meandering look at many of Australia's (and some of Asia's) indigenous species. The first stop was at the home of a giant (monitor?) lizard, who was sunbathing to absorb some heat on the lovely day.
Right next door were the mammoth turtles, who were just getting ready for a feeding.
This picture shows their size with contrast to their feeder, who was giving them a special treat that day: hibiscus.
After that we ended up at one of many sections for Koala bears. All they do is sleep and eat! What a life!
Here's another cutie takin' a snooze:
Next, we headed to Kangaroo Heaven, outside of which was a home for these funny looking porcupine type guys:
This was the first kangaroo we came upon... We were afraid it would run away so we took about a million pictures.
Fortunately for us, the kangaroos in Kangaroo Heaven are marsupials of the unnaturally tame variety, and they let us pet them!
We took a few pictures with the kangaroo...
This is me with Matt and Matt, who along with Christine were my zoo-visiting partners:
A whole family of 'roos of a different species:
One of the family, hangin' out:
More of the family:
Little teeny cute guy of another species:
Me petting the little teeny cute guy:
This one made me laugh because it was more into the ducks than the other 'roos:
This one also made me laugh because it looked so contemplative and was sitting in a silly position:
From Kangaroo Heaven we decided to hop on the tram around the park, from which we saw the most adorable procession of elephants hooked nose to tail... If you look close you can see the front one is holding an Aussie flag.
We got off at the next stop (realizing we might as well have walked...) and headed into the open air bird section. This little guy was just hanging out in the middle of the path. It reminded me of Lizzy, my late iguana who passed of osteoporosis quite a few years ago.
We had a real go at trying to capture a picture of the black swan, who is only indigenous to Australia, and quite stunning in my opinion. Here's a shot of it through the trees:
Another shot of the black swan:
We rounded a bend and there was the most fun emu ever. It kept following me around as I took its picture, which made things very difficult!
Afterward, we went to the Asian section of the zoo and saw the elephants:
And tiger!!!! I really wanted to see a liger, but no such luck.
On the way out, we went to the koala petting area, where I saw this crazy plant:
And took more pictures of koalas, who were awake and "on-duty" for petting:
Afterward, I wanted to go see the camel exhibit, and got this lovely and flattering picture:
He wasn't out for feeding so we decided to leave and come back. We saw the cute little lambs:
And then wandered a bit more.... to find the dingoes!
Maybe the dingo ate your baby!
We wandered a bit more and found these jungle birds... I forget the name, but they're endangered and in the emu family:
Afterward we came to yet another area of koalas. Apparently they keep them separated by gender and age because they become hostile toward the opposite gender outside mating season. Here's a cute one having a snooze:
After that, we went to the Tasmanian devil section. Although they aren't nearly as fast as the ones from the cartoons, they hop around quick enough that it was pretty difficult to get a good picture. These are the best I could do:
Then we went to see the crocs. They were pretty sedentary, so not quite as intimidating as I'd imagined.
On the way out, I saw a woman with a snake. I opted not to hold it, as appealing as it may have been...
Afterward we went back to see the camel, so I could get a more flattering shot:
The only photogenic snake in the snake exhibit:
After that, we went to the enclosed bird sanctuary. I was hoping to see those mohawked white parrots, but to no avail. I'm going to blame the jerks who blatantly disregarded the "one door open at a time" policy. I did get to see this guy, who is pretty colorful. I think they fly around campus sometimes, but you never get this close.
Another cool-looking parrot:
Next, we went to see the wombats, who were just being introduced to a new home. This one was so funny. They let him out and he immediately went to the nearest corner to get cool. These photos are best viewed in succession.
They are really some of the funniest looking creatures ever:
A cool looking fern and fiddlehead near the wombat area:
Christine took this gorgeous picture of a pretty hibiscus near the center of the park:
The last thing we did was pay to get out picture taken with a koala. It was the cutest thing I have ever touched or been even been in the near proximity of since my guinea pig died.
Overall, it was a great trip. If you're planning on going to a zoo around here, though, those short of cash might consider the Currumbin Sanctuary to save a few beans. It doesn't have elephants and tigers, but you'll save about $60 and still get a chance to hold a koala and pet a kangaroo... not to mention you won't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus to another bus.