Australia Zoo

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 14, 2009

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6th May - Australia Zoo

Just north of Brissy in the Queensland Hinterland, is the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Steve Irwin was evangelistic about conservation & this Zoo is unlike others, as the animals are not in cages but in large compounds resembling their natural habitats. Most of the indigenous Australian animals, snakes & birds were there.

There is, however, the "Crocoseum" (yuk) where they get the big crocs to leap out of the water after dead chickens. These particular crocs had been rescued by Steve Irwin, they had been threatening populated areas & would otherwise have been shot.
There are many myths about crocodiles - one is that you can't out run a croc, actually they are ponderous on dry land. Another is that if a croc gets you in its jaws, poke your finger in its eyes & it will let go - a crocodile's jaws can exert so much pressure your body or skull would be easily crushed.
Being Steve (The Crocodile Hunter) Irwin's Zoo, there were lots of Crocodiles & Alligators (in individual ponds).

The other "show" was the elephant exhibit where a lady assistant got the elephants to perform tricks while the keeper gave an interesting talk about them. Did you know - that they have the intelligence of a 6 year old child & can understand about 50 different spoken commands.
The keeper showed us a large elephant tooth, this tooth had become infected & the elephant had used a sharp stick to prise the tooth out of it's own jaw, showing the ability to use tools. Elephants only have 4 molars but they can re-grow them 3 times.
These were Asian Elephants (the ones with the small ears) who are an endangered species, as their natural habitat, the forests, are being cut down.

There was a child-friendly "Roo Heaven" where you are encouraged to feed Kangaroos & Wallabies, most of whom seem bored by the whole thing. I was fascinated see a Joey (baby Kangaroo) just poking out of its mothers pouch. Of course they have a Koala compound with some Koalas tame enough to let children squeeze & poke them about (aren't some kids cruel).
One disappointment was the water bird section, the ponds were partly hidden behind trees & bushes so you couldn't see many of the birds.

There is a walk through aviary stocked with hundreds of beautifully coloured birds (who constantly dive bomb you).
They are trying to expand & become a World Zoo - they have already added the Asian section with Tigers, Red Pandas & the Elephants, all of which are endangered.
Part of the admission fees directly help endangered species, so you can have an excellent day out & feel good about saving the Planet.
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holly08121 on

P Smith
Ah Colin and I loved Steve Irwin's programmes. Would love to see the zoo. Think you should write a book. So interesting and soothing to read!

holly08121 on

C Smith
Colin just been catching up with all the reading and looking at the amazing pics. Thinks you are having fabulous time. Lots of love and cheers!!!xxx

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