Taronga Zoo, Tues Morning, 12/06/16

First off, we don't frequent zoos, but going to this zoo was on today's RS's morning agenda and it appeared like it might be fun.  I dislike seeing anything caged, and even when I had pets, I never kept them cooped up.  That being said, visiting Taronga Zoo seemed like an opportunity to glimpse animals, etc., that we would otherwise never see.  Yup, this zoo was that, and more, it was a fascinating look at Australian fauna and flora, and our entire little group of 17 (plus Albert, of course) really enjoyed stomping around here for a few hours.

After a hearty breakfast, we boarded our coach for the drive across the Big Bridge, and were delivered to the zoo on Sydney's north shore.  We saw a whole different "cast of characters" at this zoo.

Pretty cool Black-necked stork.
Giving us the eye?

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo -- an ancestor of kangaroos and wallabies who decided long, long ago to live in trees probably to escape predators or look for food.  They're good climbers, and check out that tail, wow!

White-headed Pigeon ... who knew there were so many pigeon varieties?

Me and the Rhea just wanderin' around the zoo paths!

This Laughing Kookaburra, a fairly good-sized bird who we heard cackling, is a carnivorous member of the Kingfisher family.  It's another drop-in to the zoo, and could fly away anytime it wanted.  Native to Australia. 

Not a very good picture of a swimming duck-billed Platypus, a seriously weird semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, but it never stopped moving.  Taronga Zoo has been successful with a breeding program, and the platypus newborns are called, "Puggles!"

How cute!  Li'l Puggles!

Ginny is surprised to see a Wallaby sitting just off the pathway.

A Koala doing what koalas do 20 hours each day ...
resting in a Eucalyptus tree.

Quokka.  Never heard of 'em.  One of the first Australian mammals Europeans saw and they thought it was a large rat!  It's a Wallaby.  Large numbers live on Rottnest Island (off the coast of Western AU), but on the mainland they're threatened with extinction because they're eaten by pesky foxes.  

Looks dead.  It isn't.  Just having a nap, I guess.

Not all of the animals or reptiles are caged or confined ... this Eastern Water Dragon was just minding its own business parked on a rock.  Come or go at will! 

While we were at a free and sort of hands-on show, with a keeper to present critters like this Eastern Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa), a short-tailed, slow moving species of blue-tongued skink found in Australia, I was watching the show below that most of the others couldn't see -- two 'roos playing.  Not sure if the two were friends, foes, kin, or potential lovers, but they held my attention!  BTW, I touched the ugly dude above.

So much fun to watch!

Meanwhile, the keeper brought out this goobery-looking character:  a short-beaked Echidna. Their spines are actually long, tough, hollow hair follicles and it's their main defense. These guys can dig and will burrow into the ground, leaving only their spines exposed ... or roll into a spiny ball.  Using that short beak, they break into ant and termite nests and use their long, sticky tongues to catch prey -- and I say YAY for them! These guys are found in all habitats in Australia.  Seriously strange critter, wouldn't you say?

Then suddenly those two playful 'roos hopped up to the amphitheater -- what the heck?

One followed the other, hopping up the stone steps to resume play on the path above, out of sight, leaving the audience both started and delighted!  Ibby and Bernice (in gray and red) were busy capturing all of it with cameras.

Back to the Echidna.  The guide was very careful when he picked it up.
Man, look at those claws ... are they backwards?

Gorgeous ginger, slightly fragrant, near the piazza, where we had a buffet BBQ lunch.

Not sure, but it was oversized!

We loved Taronga Zoo, what an exotic adventure!  After lunch, Bernice, Ibby, Jimmy and I took the Sky Safari down to the ferry pier, where we boarded a ferry back across Sydney Harbour to Circular Quay.  From there, our group walked around the Quay to the ... ready? ... magnificent UNESCO World Heritage listed Sydney Opera House.  Woo-hoo, we're excited! Next post, ok?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Your blog rocks! I have to read it in order to find out where I was and what I did there because at the time I was apparently clueless. You've obviously been doing this since ... well, a while. Good on you! Garrett


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