I really will get around to doing some library posts soon everyone. However in the interim thought I should include some of the marvellous Melbourne experiences you can have down here.
Today I went to Melbourne Zoo.
Even though there was a queue a mile long of people with children at 11am on the Monday of the Queens Birthday weekend they were able to keep it moving fairly well, and once inside the sheer size of the zoo disperses the numbers so the crowds seem less overwhelming.
I bypassed the queue nicely anyway as I have a FOTZ (Friends of the Zoos) membership card. So you get priority entry and unlimited visits for your annual subscription. Brilliant idea for anyone you know with children needing a gift. Effectively means you no longer have to make your visit worth the entrance fee, but can pop in, visit the children’s favourite animal and then leave if someone (kids or adults) get cranky. Also FOTZ members get a range of additional offers such as behind the scenes visits to animal enclosures, children’s activities and keeper talks.
Today I did my favourites – the gorillas, the otters (out for cleaning?), the tigers, the elephants, the orang utans. It is just wonderful to see now the happy group of elephants, who are such social beings. I remember the time when we only had 2 elephants, one a stressed female lacking any other female company; now a full matriarchal group cares fot the 2 infants Mali and Ongard. Today the keepers were teaching them to walk in line, with little Ongard being shown how to hold onto the elephant in front’s tail with his trunk.
Then as we had time a few extras, like the pygmy hippopotomous (2 small rocks in the water and you have to wait for him to come up and breathe every 5 mins to see if you have the right rocks).
The Mandrills put on display their beautiful aerosoled faces and bums. Butterflies landed light as down on my head in the Butterfly house, and then we watched as a still wet butterfly fanned her wings emerging from the cocoon.
The zoo also has a range of information to educate visitors about ways to support wildlife. The current campaign is about using recycled toilet paper, rather than chopping up trees to create the paper we use to wipe our bums. There is a fantastic seriesof plastic toilets with poo replicas stuck on them. To find out wich animal generated which poo you lift the lid to receive informative messages such as “Square turds are not just for nerds”.
In the nursery on display this week is a gorgeous baby spider monkey with her patient grandmother. I finally saw the likeness to spiders as this tiny thing, all spindly arms and legs and face, climbed up and down every surface of the nursery like a Daddy Long Legs.
Then we came out of the wonderful Reptile House in time for the lion feeding on display. Fabulous day. And that’s only half the zoo!
I’d really like to thank the Queen for sharing her birthday with me this long weekend 🙂