I love a trip to a zoo, any zoo. I love animals and appreciate what they go through in the wild at the hands of we humans and our constant encroachment upon their lands and harvesting of them for food.
While Zoological parks in the past have been places for humans to oggle animals, locked in tiny cages where they can’t escape from view, the animals weren’t allowed to have off days, today it’s very different.
Werribee Open Range Zoo, like practically every zoo, is actively involved in breeding programs for a lot of their animals. For endangered species, they have to wait for approval, often from an international board before they can breed their animals. The board’s intention is to ensure genetic diversity in the bloodlines of offspring.
At Werribee Open Range Zoo I think my favourite animals are the Meerkats (a form of mongoose), the Lions, the Rhinos, the Hippos… oh all right, all of them.
We arrived at the zoo at about 12.20 and were invited to join the 12.30 tour bus, I didn’t really want to join a bus that was probably quite full, but the others had already said “yes”. When we got to the queue there were quite a few people already in line, so I was further concerned about the seats we would get.
Having been there three times already before, I know it’s important to get good seats. As the day was overcast I was surprised to see so many people around. As luck would have it, when the doors opened everyone rushed to the centre and rear of the bus, no one thought to enter through the disabled door and it was left to us as the last to climb onto the bus.
These seats are directly behind the driver, I reckon we ended up with the best seats in the house.
The tour is always v.cool, there is quite a bit to see. I was a little disappointed however that this zoo was undergoing renovations. The Australian Native section (with Kangaroos, Wallabies and Emus) and the Hippos were unavailable.
In the case of the Australian Natives, their area had become over-run with rabbits and they currently have bunny poison in place to wipe them out. The hippos have a brand new enclosure and are currently getting used to it before going on display, they’ll be available from September 10.
After the tour you can walk around the zoo to see some of the animals not covered by the tour. David and Jennifer had Alek a little on-edge going through the man-made savanna, having him believing that the sounds of lions were real, rather than projected from speakers as they were.
It only rained a little, and for the most part was a fantastic day. I’ll be going back many many times to this zoo. At $22.00 per adult it may seem costly, but is well worth it.
Check out my photos from the day (an previous visits to the Zoo) at Flickr.