Monday, June 11, 2012

Going to the zoo!

Lemur sun baking--something they do daily
This one's for Neil--My roomy for two years while I finished my last two years of my four year degree -I was studying to become a high school teacher, and Neil was studying for primary.  As a result  I was often her guinea pig and troublesome student.

I really remember the 'Zoo' unit - I have had that song stuck in my head ever since....

Anyway, here in Cairns, we are lucky enough to have a lot of zoos--tropical, natural Australiana, jungle safari, butterfly enclosures, venomous, and well--you get the idea...
But Neil was determined to take me to the zoo all those years ago, and so we were inundated with zoo pictures, songs, rhymes, - you name it....I mean --I love zoos--always have --but WOW! That was one zoo study plan! Obviously--- because it has stayed with me all these years!  Neil, you must have been a fantastic teacher!! 

Chris and I recently went to one of our local zoos - the  Cairns Tropical Zoo.  We had such a fun day playing with and photographing the animals, and really just enjoying the beautiful sunshine--we are well and truly into our first Winter here in Cairns, and I travelled around the zoo all day in a summer ruffled shirt and sunglasses!

 (Maybe I've mentioned that I love living here??  This morning for example is glorious--the sun is shining brightly and the animal life and bird song surrounds us.  Best place in the world to have a Winter!!)

This is a wedge tailed eagle - truly an elegant bird - and we had a front row seat for the show!  It was a free flight bird show, and featured magpies, a white barn owl, this eagle and a was fun as they swooped low over our heads.

A cotton-top tamarin monkey
We then to see the Nepalese red panda and by lunch-time we were smack dab in front of these cute little monkeys.  Because they are so small they are becoming endangered, as in their natural habitat they are caught and then sold as pets, and easily replaced if not cared for properly.  They are at times forced to become street performers, (maybe I made that up...) but it isn't a good life for them.  But what we found to be so much fun was watching them choose their tidbits of food from the bowl that was being offered to them.  They just patiently sat on a branch and sorted through the pieces of fruit and sultanas and picked carefully what they wanted.  Then held the piece of food in their small hands and ate it gracefully.

By this stage it was time for the snake presentation and show.  The snakes were amazing, and we witnessed a black faced python (who just slithered around on the enclosed stage area, then the scary death adder, who quite frankly looked more like a lazy fat lizard--but the venom isn't lazy and as a result they are quite content to wait for their prey to come to them, as one bite, and they have dinner!

I was fascinated by some of the tales that the snake handler told us, but after a while found him to be more of a 'know-it-all' rather than a good showman.  Especially when a young boy of about 9 would ask him questions, and would be dismissed rather flippantly.  However, then he brought out his taipan!  Now Chris and I have had experiences with taipans, especially those that decided to enter our home!  I have written about them in the past, but he handled this taipan really well!  He took it out of a container, with his long snake staff, and while holding the large snake's tail walked his stage area, and demonstrated it's agility and speed of movement.     

After that experience we went into the snake house to see the displays, and I discovered a very large taipan---sure was happy that we never had to fight with one of these of this size when we lived in Rocky!  After that we went to see the crocodiles and alligators on display.  There was still a lot
more for us to see, but we were
feeling a bit walked out, and
decided to save the rest of the zoo for our next trip back there.  It is a great place to bring our visitors - so will discover more then.

So in the words of the song by Peter, Paul and Mary:

We've been to the zoo zoo zoo
So have you you you
You came too too too
We been to the zoo zoo zoo

Enjoy this clip of Peter and Paul having fun with this song! -

No comments: