Saturday, May 24, 2008

Meeting some of God's amazing species

This morning, I took the Rabbit and Cat Mom to the world renown Melbourne Zoo. This is one of the purpose of our visit here, this year's holidays. At 10am, after a hefty breakfast, we took a very short drive to the zoo, which is less than a mile away.

Right: Having morning coffee while waiting for the meerkat briefing

The first animal we saw was the meerkat. There was a Keeper's briefing at 11.00am and we waited for that. Next to that is the wallaby. This is smaller version of the kangaroo.

The pen across is the red panda. These are rare animals indeed.

Left: The rare red panda

After few other pens, we were at the Platypusary. We saw a couple of the amazing platypus. The egg-laying-infant-nursing mammal was swimming gracefully in the aquarium-like tank. The light was low, so photography with a basic digital camera was almost impossible as flash photography was completely prohibited.

Right: Outside the platypusary

Then it were the kangaroos. The kangaroos were allowed to roam free in their pen, with minimal fencing between them and the visitors.

Left: The Zakhirs and the Melbourne Zoo kangaroos

The Australian national bird, emu, was right next. The animal was kept in a Savannah like environment. This large bird appear on the Australian coat of arms, along with the kangaroo.

Right: At the emu pen

The more interesting species was the koala. We timed our visit there, to coincide with the Keeper's briefing. It was a really educational briefing. The eucalyptus eating marsupial was once a game animal, where it was hunted for its hide, especially for the European market. The last allowable shooting was the Open Season of 1927, where 700,000 koalas were shot in Queensland alone. That brought about a lot of notion that it should be a protected species.

Left: The koalas

Of course, we also saw the wombat.

It was a really educational and interesting experience for us. Our reason to come to Australia had met its main purpose. We saw with our eyes, the most amazing creatures indigenous only to this island-continent!


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