Monday, June 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
As if I did not get enough animals on Tuesday, a few days later was our field trip to the Australia Zoo! This was a field trip I had been looking forward to since the first day of classes, so I was extremely excited to go. This zoo used to be a smaller reptile park but Steve Irwin and his wife took over management of the zoo in 1992 and now it is much bigger and much better. Now, the zoo does an amazing job at celebrating Steve Irwin’s life and building on his dream. The zoo is filled with pictures of Steve, his family, and all of his animal ‘friends’, it is impossible not to feel his presence and appreciate his passion while being there. I wasn’t a avid Crocodile Hunter fan growing up or anything, but seeing all of his accomplishments in person still had a strong impact on me. The zoo is about 2 hours away from Brisbane, so my classmates and I packed the coach buses at 7am for that last field trip of the semester. At the zoo we first took a walk around the many crocodile habitats.
We then visited a kangaroo reserve, similar to the one I had played in at Lone Pine early that week. We did not have as much time here since we had a strict field trip schedule, but it was amazing because I finally got to see a baby kangaroo! There were so many kangaroos with Joeys in their pouches it was so cool! They were so little and cute, and they just hung out in their mom’s pouch the whole time. I was so surprised that the moms were not more protective over the Joey, they would still just come right up to us and let us feed and pet them. I was extremely excited and happy that I finally got to see a Joey!
We then visited the echidnas, and watched the zookeeper feed them. Echidnas are such weird looking animals, like nothing I have ever seen before. They let us touch the echidna which was a weird feeling, almost felt like plastic. We also saw a HUGE python, bigger than any snake I have ever seen before and even though it was behind glass it still scared me a bit. We also saw some wombats, which are also weird looking animals, and it was funny because they were climbing all over each other. We all got a turn to pet a koala, they are really soft and just calmly sat in the tree the whole time.
Then we went to the Crocoseum and watched a show. In the show there were a few demonstrations with birds flying around and they also fed a huge, scary crocodile and we watched the croc swim through the water. They are such big and strong animals, I would be very afraid to be that close to one.
After the show at the Crocoseum we were taken into a classroom where the zookeepers/’stars of the show’ gave us a special behind-the-scenes educational session about crocs, birds, Tasmanian devils, reptiles, and koalas. The coolest part was that for each of these demonstrations they were holding the specific animal the entire time, and afterword we were all able to pet most of them (the friendly ones).
We were then given free time to explore whatever we wanted in the zoo. My friends and I went back to the kangaroos and spent some more time marveling over the Joeys. We also had another good look at the crocs, saw some more cool birds, and found a really old-looking tortoise.
I acted like a little kid when I got the chance to feed an elephant (I actually acted like a little kid when I simply saw the elephants, they are such cool animals!). All I had to do was grab a piece of fruit out of a bucket and hold my hand out, and the elephant would suck it up with his trunk. It was such a cool feeling except the slobber on my hand smelled terrible!
This was one of the best experiences I have had in Australia. This country as such unique and cool animals and I am so glad that I got a chance to see them all! I took some videos of the animals while I was there (mostly the kangaroos) so hopefully it will work and you all can see some of the cool stuff that I did!