Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Noo Zew

The National Zoo and Aquarium recently opened a new area and as we were still members we took ourselves along there.  So did a heap of other people the base car park was full and about 30 cars were parked on Lady Denman Drive.  The top car park had a few empty spots but I'd say they were on a nice little earner today.

To get a bit of philosophy out of the way I have heard views that people should be out looking at Australian wildlife in the wild rather than those caged in zoos.  The usual official answer to this is to reference the captive breeding programs that zoos (including this one) do.  That is certainly a valid point.  However what I noticed was the large number of kids there who were really enjoying seeing the animals.  That has got to give them a good attitude for later in life.

Plus I really enjoy seeing the animals and, due to guilt about leaving the small dog, can't take trips all over the place to spot them in the wild .  (And come to think of it, there is probably a conservation point that it is better for us to drive 60 km to see a tiger and a lion than to fly about 15,000km for that purpose!)

Enough already.  Here are some photos.  They're pretty much in the order I took them, in the course of a counterclockwise tour.

We actually started with a 100m dash in a clockwise direction as I noticed a photogenic tiger as we drove in.  He was sitting on a table.
He eventually stood up:
Then his brother turned up to look at the food on the other side of some plate glass.
 Towards the end of our visit we passed by again and it was actually feeding time.  This meat had fur on it, rather than a matinee jacket.
 I tried to get a snap of the canines but it wouldn't keep its mouth open!  The claws are rather impressive however
 A new species is a Serval.  They are apparently very athletic but like many of the animals today it was just kicking back enjoying the sunshine.
 One of the Black and White Lemurs was conscious ...
 .. but another was definitely getting the rays where they felt good.
Their Ring-tailed relatives were a little more active (including one with a bandaged tail which really looked like a huge bottlebrush but was not photographed).
 The Cheetahs were very laid back: I was surprised how flat they able to get.
 
 Two Eland.
 One Ostrich in its pen.
 Another came over to check out the punters.
They now have three (at least) Rhinos.  They must feed them well, and as a result have no shortage of organic fertiliser.  (I assume the keepers heap it up rather than the animals crapping in the same spot each bowel movement.)  I have been advised that Rhino's, like alpacas, do create piles of poop.  (That has just reminded me of a Rugby song about animals in a circus: "In this cage we have the Rhinosorearse.  So called from Rhino = Money. and Sore arse meaning piles.  Piles of money!"   No-one seems to know why rhino is slang for money! )
This dark jobbie is an adult male Black Buck.  The horns spiral due to alternating cycles of depositing horn material.
Although this one is the light colour of a female it is (as shown by the horns) a juvenile male.  According to one of the keepers it is just starting to get pushed around by the full adult male.
 Zebras got the message about lying around in the sun.
 A Wapiti didn't adopt the horizontal but just posed majestically.
 A younger Wapiti showed its velvet while putting on some lucerne.
 A Red Panda sacked out high in a tree ...
 .. while a meercat kept an eye on things from a rock ...
 .. and a Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo looked gorgeous as it went for an arboreal stroll.
 The Little Penguins posed very nicely.
 As did one of the Lion bros!
 There were a few wild birds around including this Little Pied Cormorant.
Unfortunately the commonest bird was the Common Myna with at least 60 birds present (two flocks of ~ 30 birds went by: so close that it was definitely not one flock seen twice.

The Snow Leopard had got the message about sleeping but had done it so well it forgot to move to follow the sun!
All in all a very enjoyable visit.

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