Monday, January 28, 2008

We went to the Zoo!

To celebrate Australia Day 2008, Melissa, Kaitlyn, Ashley and I went to the Melbourne Zoo. Kieran and Rodney declined to join us. We hadn't been for AGES - we used to be Friends of the Zoo when the kids were little, but it has been a long time since then! Believe it or not, this was ou FIRST visit since the elephants got their new enclosure - an event we had anticipated for decades! photo gallery

Anyway, it was hot and humid (not the greatest weather for an MSer) but we packed our lunch and hats and sunblock and made the best of things.

First stop was to see our old friends the gorillas. We used to be on first name terms with them all, as Melissa was born just before the famous Mzuri, so the families grew up together. They greeted the hot weather much like we do - lazing around not doing much! Then it was off to see the tree top apes (are we watching them or are they watching us?)

We took a detour via the Meerkats (lurve the meerkats!) and the penguins to a shady lunch spot for our picnic and then down to the bears, big cats and the lions. I rested on an endangered species (ie green lawn) while the others trekked up the bridge to watch the lions. Then it was off to the reptile enclosure (first time since seeing the first Harry Potter movie!!!!) where there were the cutest baby frilled neck lizards.

We struggled through the Australian animals display - outback design matched by outback sun - and through the Great Flight Aviary. Zebras and Giraffes (including the wonderful zebra who followed me around to the sunlight after I complained he was backlit in the shade!), then we all had a much-welcomed icy pole.

Finally, we came to the elephant trail and all I can say is - WOW! Past the tigers (pacing for their dinner) and a quick trip through the even-more-humid butterfly house, we came to see a kiosk area transformed into an Indonesian village shopping centre! Best of all, though, was our lucky timing in arriving in time to see the elephants "enrichment activity" display, which included them SWIMMING in the water hole! The attendants were grinning throughout - a hard day at the office - and it was just so much FUN! We also got to see the other elephants who were resting in the other enclosures and it was wonderful to see how much space they have. Then around the corner, the transformed Orangutan enclosure, modelled on an orphanage in their home country and it was just lovely. We saw fleeting glimpses of the Orang's and the most amazing sight of the big male's long fingers appearing as he reached up from the level below us!

Then it was off to the gift shop, where Ashley and Kaitlyn stocked up pn soft toy animals and Melissa and I got some zoo-themed scrapping supplies! Then another ice cream before we got into the car for the trip home, entertained by lightening as storms moved around us.

It was a wonderful day!

No comments: