"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Australian Animals are the Coolest

When we landed I asked Caz, “What’s the first thing you want to do in Australia?” and before I finished the question she karate kicked me in the face and screamed, “SEE KANGAROOOOOOOOS!!!”

So on Boxing Day, Uncle Tony took us to see some crazy Aussie animals.

The Healesville Sanctuary, which focuses on breeding and release programs for endangered species, is located 65 kms from Melbourne. In an effort to create a natural environment for Australian bush animals, it boasts large enclosures filled with native flora. The Tasmanian Devil viewing area only has one Devil because, unless they’re mating or ferociously dining on a communal carcass, they like to be alone. The authentic setting makes the animals comfortable and the experience for people more genuine and personal, allowing guys like Uncle Tony to reach over a fence and stroke the neck of an emu.

If you haven’t seen an emu, they’re five-foot tall birds with oily feathers, massive beaks, and crazy looking talons. Tony didn’t care, and the bird loved it. She got so into her massage that she sat down, almost fell over, and pooped everywhere.

We also saw goannas (huge lizards), dingoes (“A dingo ate my baby!”), three of the most venomous snakes on earth (freakin Australia), platypussesesesses (no one can agree on a plural form of this super cute misfit), koalas (also wicked cute), echidnas (spiky, egg-laying mammal thing), wombats (super sleepy), and a “Birds of Prey” show featuring hawks, owls, and cockatoos that was surprisingly good. We even saw a boomerang show, where I purchased a left-handed boomerang. It comes back to me every now and then.

The one let down was the kangaroo area. Kangaroos are most active during dawn and dusk because of the cooler temperatures. We arrived at 2:00 pm on a hot day, so the kangas were all taking a nap. A few of the bigger ones bounced around for a bit, but mostly they just sat there. We later realized the best time to see some action is during the scheduled “Keeper Talks”, when the keeper gives a short spiel about each animal and throws them some scooby snacks to wake em up.

All in all, it was a great way to see Australian wildlife and learn about some of the quirkiest animals in the world. Like did you know that platypuses have poisonous spurs on their feet that they can jab predators with? No, you didn’t.

Thanks to the Healesville Sanctuary, you’ll never die trying to hug a platypus. You’re welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment