Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What We Also Did On Eid Day

....the story continues....

As Brad and I had our usual stuff for lunch, Mama and Dad, plus a few others who were on abattoir duty too, were given a special treat by the abattoir management. We were told that they had lamb chops barbies for lunch. Hmmmm.....luckily Mama packed some for us. Or else, no more cuddles for her the rest of the trip.

Aah...the taste of succulent lamb mouth watering.... yummmm....yummmm....

After lunch, Mama and Dad had a bit of rest in the hotel room. We were watching telly when suddenly Dad said, "Hey, let's go to the zoo!"
"Yeah!!!!" Brad and I yelled in unison.
"Finally, I get to visit the zoo for the first time in seven years," Mama added.
And so off we went to the famous zoo of Dubbo. It's very easy to get there from our hotel. Just turn left at the exit, pass the roundabout and just go straight until we meet the junction on the left that says "Taronga Western Plains Zoo".
The zoo was opened to the public in 1977 although planning started way back in the 1960s. Its main objective was as a place to concentrate on breeding, especially large, plains dwelling animals. Over the years, this 300ha of irrigated grass and woodland has turned into a world class open range zoo with a fine reputation for its animal husbandry, enclosures, education and breeding - particularly of endangered species.
OK, enough of the dry stuff. Feast your eyes on the lovely visuals instead. We took thousands of photographs but pick and choose only our favourites to share with the world.
Oh, did I tell you that this is also an open range zoo where there are no visual barriers between visitors and animals. A system of concealed moats creates a breathtaking impression of being with the animals in the wild. 

What greets you at the entrance off Obley Road.

You get this map after paying the entrance fee. Charge is for per person and our car could be brought in for free. Of course, you can also rent electric vehicles or bicycles. And if you have the stamina, just walk around. After all, it's only 15km of bush treks. teeheehee...

Our educational journey actually begins here - over 1,000 animals are on display, grouped into 5 continental areas of the world. They are: Africa, Eurasia, North America, Australia and South America.

Arabian camels were the first animals we saw as soon as we entered the safari. Mama had to restrain Brad as he wanted to jump and hitch a ride on those friendly animals.

These Barbary Sheep share the same enclosure as the camels. I asked Mama if these sheep had escaped the abattoir's paddock. "No, Angelina. Their native home is North Africa. They are listed as VULNERABLE, that's close to being an ENDANGERED species, you know."

We had a fun time climbing up and down this tree while Mama and Dad tried to coax the zoo animals to pose for them. Wish we have a backyard with a tree like this.

Wow! What a tall animal the giraffe is. Heheheh...don't be fooled by this ferro-concrete baby giraffe. 

Now, this is the real deal. At certain times of the day, visitors are allowed to handfeed the giraffes from a specially built platform.

I shudder at the thought of what those sharp horns of the Addax can do. Listed as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED, the Addax is a Saharan desert antelope that can survive for long periods without drinking water. Very suitable for drought stricken Australia too, eh?

Introducing - the NEAR THREATENED listed Southern White Rhinoceros. Unfortunately, this most social among the rhino family is still killed for its horn. It's OK luv, you're safe here in Dubbo. 

Suddenly Brad got all excited again as we left the rhino to visit the cheetahs. "Hey, come out and play with me. I'll race you," he shouted over the moat separating us from the big cats. 

Should I tell Brad that cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 96km/h? There is no way Brad can win the race. Just look at those powerful limbs.

This duck doesn't seem to be afraid of the cheetahs as it roams freely in the big cat enclosure. Guess the cheetah's usual food must be yummier than duck meat so why bother, eh?

We joined Dad climbing this viewing platform, just to get a good look at the African Savannah.

A waterfall in the savannah. Such lovely water - great for a dip or a drink. There was a hippopotamus frolicking nearby.

The vista from the viewing platform. The luxurious Zoofari Lodge is just behind this section of the zoo. Imagine waking up to the sounds of elephants, apes, zebras and other animals of the zoo. 

People say elephants react differently to different people. This fine specimen of the African Elephant showed its handsome face to Mama.

But showed his bum to Dad! teeheehee....

We spotted this Red-Rumped Parrot as we were leaving the savannah. Apparently, only the males have red rumps. Hmmmm...interesting. Let me check your rump, Brad.

We bumped into a Zoofari Lodge bus as we approached the Sumatran Tiger enclosure. It looks like a humongous zebra.

Come on, Tigger! Show your handsome face to me.'re so shy. The zoo has both the ENDANGERED Sumatran and Bengal tigers on display. 

The Przewalski's Horse aka takhi in its native land. This herd was too busy eating that they completely ignored me. Extinct in the wild since 1965, five of these handsome horses bred at this zoo were returned to their Mongolian homeland in 1995 and the family has since quadrupled in number. Yeay!

Did I mention that the zoo has facilities like this all over the place? So that visitors like Brad don't pee under the tree! hahaha...

There's designated parking for the disabled too.

Must pay homage to our native koalas. Though they just seem oblivious to the rest of the world.

Need any help scratching there, mate? The Eastern Grey Kangaroo can be found almost everywhere. This fella was photographed scratching his balls by the roadside.

The Australian wetlands in the zoo is home to the Masked Lapwing, Australian Pelican, Purple Swamphen, Sacred Ibis and Black Swan.

And that concluded our tour of zoo. Given the chance, we'll come visit again.

After all the hard work at the zoo, we went back to the city centre and binged on piping hot cinnamon donuts. yummm...yummm....Brad shared Dad's mango smoothies while I helped finish Mama's iced mocha. 

Thank you Mama and Dad. It was a purrfect trip to the zoo for us. 

A purrfect Eid too. purrr......meow!

to be continued.....


Naz in Norway said...

OK OK....let me check the ticket price.... ;D

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Naz,
We'll be waiting....purrr...meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

"Just look at those powerful limbs"

Angelina, are you having a crush on a cheeeeetaaaah? Haaa haa haa! Oooh!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ooh CO78, only a female wound understand another....purrrr....don't know why I have this "thing" about big cats! roar! roar! roar!
Perhaps in my previous life I was a cougar....meow!