♫ You can come too, too too. We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. ♫
I love the zoo. Any zoo. I tend to go at least once a year to the Melbourne Zoo or Aquarium. I’ve been to Healesville Sanctuary once and only last month I took my first trip to Werribee Open Range Zoo (it’s ludicrous that it took me so long as I live 20 minutes away from it).
It was amazing. Spur of the moment thing. Went with my boyfriend, his best friend and his girlfriend (i set them up and it totally worked out).
When you first head in to get your ticket, you’re also allocated a time to do a Safari bus tour. The ticket price includes the tour, however if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you have the option of doing one of the smaller sized trips but you get incredibly close to certain animals and you have the opportunity to feed them and take amazing photos. We just stuck with the normal trip this time around.
I got some excellent shots of the animals in the zoo.
Mama camel and her baby camel. The bus behind them is one of the Safari buses that cost a little extra but you get so much closer than in the bus that’s provided.
This emu was evil. It kept following me around. At first I didn’t even notice it and i was literally 5 meters away from it when i spotted it out of the corner of my eye. It just looked at me. And then menacingly walked slowly towards me. I ended up going into the enclosed snake pit to until it lost interest in me. This is the final look it gave me before it went away.
One of these Giraffes is the 21 month old from Auckland Zoo (i cannot for the life of me remember which one but from this pic i have a feeling it’s the smaller, lighter one in the background). The driver of the bus told us that Werribee Zoo is held as a holding ground for animals for Australian and New Zealand Zoos. When the zoo’s are ready, they’ll arrange for the animals to be transported to them to be used for breeding.
This is the mama hippo. She is kept in an enclosure with her 2 babies, separated from daddy hippo because he tried to mate with the babies. He is kept in another enclosure with his mistress. This was taken around 4 pm when it’s feeding time. The keeper said that at 3.55 pm they all start getting out of the water and pacing around the doors where they are taken in to eat. Clever little things!
This male rhino is chasing a ute of guys who were filming a doco or something. He had his 3 female rhinos follow him at a safe distance. He chased them for quite sometime until they eventually went away because he was getting really aggressive.
I was disappointed to learn that there were no elephants. I love elephants, especially the pygmy elephants from Borneo because they are so small and so cute!
Didn’t see any at Werribee Zoo but when i was in Bali over the 2010/2011 New Year period my boyfriend and I booked a tour for the Elephant Park. I’m alsways in two minds about these places because in Australia, i know the animals are cared for well and aren’t exploited, but in Indonesia, you just can’t be sure. I know that they do it to survive but i don’t want to get into the politics of it but I am conflicted about going to the wildlife parks in Bali. But we ended up in the Elephant Safari Park. And we rode an elephant!
After we got off the elephant, the trainers make you stand in front of the elephants and then tell the elephants to put a lei on you from behind, which scares the shit outta you because you have no idea what is happening.
But back to Werribee…
The zoo was really good. My only real issue is that although zoo’s are family friendly, they aren’t really adult friendly. Whilst i appreciate that parents with kids will be all around, the commentary from the driver was really hard to hear over the screaming and crying kids. I made a comment that perhaps an adult only bus could run every hour (they run as many as 10 buses every hour so one isn’t a ridiculous suggestion) however the girl attendant said they thought about it but it leaves them liable so who knows.
The was one thing that was a surprise to me, and I’m not sure why because it makes perfect sense but it amazed me at the amount of work the zoo’s do to help communities. The driver told us that so many of the animals in Africa are so close to extinction because villagers kill them for food and to sell. Which is terrible but given the situation, it’s what anyone would do. So teams from the zoo’s head over the Africa to teach them about conservation and about other ways to make money and provide food which is really interesting. I also didn’t know that they’ve actually bought a few animals back from the brink of extinction which is wonderful news. Anyway, if you’re interested, you can read all about it at the links provided at the top of this post.
My one tip. Bring your own food and drink if you can help it. Everything is ridiculously expensive and there are plenty of grassy areas for you to sit and eat. Also hat’s and sunscreen are a must!
Do you love zoo’s and what is your favourite?