Thursday, May 13, 2010

Australia Zoo and Mum's Day

Crikey! It's the Australia Zoo! What a ripper!

Two Giant Aldabran Land Tortoises

Patting kangaroos and koalas was ripper ace!

Feeding the Asian Elephants a bit of rock melon (cantaloupe). The three elephants at the zoo were formerly circus elephants and now they are spoiled at the zoo where they are hand-fed melon and squash by the many visitors each day.

The spiky echidna is a monotreme, an egg-laying mammal. The only other is the platypus who also lives in Australia.

On Day 1 at the zoo, I twisted my ankle stepping off of the bitumen (asphalt) where it had broken away on the edge.

Charlie the Magpie Goose was very worried about me when I hurt my ankle. I was wailing pretty good for quite some time before I could calm down.

Bev and Terry, our special hosts, gave us a tour of Caloundra, beautiful meals and were wonderful company. They told us that their daughter went to school with Steve Irwin and is friends with his sister Joy who apparently manages the tucker (food venues) at the zoo. They said the personality that you saw when Steve was on the tele, in movies, etc. was just as he was. He was full of enthusiasm, kindness and had an incredible heart and was dedicated to wildlife conservation.

Our family photo from Day 2 at the zoo, with a repeat try after spraining my ankle on Day 1.

Lamington (sponge cake covered in chocolate with coconut), coffee and hunky men for Mum's Day morning tea at the Australia Zoo!

The reason I can celebrate Mum's Day, my little miracle, Gregory Thomas.

Patting a Wallaby

The Brolga

Double click below to read more about this large flightless bird who has a "horny helmet".

The Red Panda

The Australia Zoo believes that getting up close and personal with the wildlife will give people an opportunity to make a connection and understand the importance of preserving these creatures and their habitats. They allowed each of us to give this little koala a gentle pat on his bottom. The many koalas take turns "on duty".

Gregory pats this large red kangaroo.

Mike says hello to a little joey and her mum.

My husband knows I love hearts in nature and he found this one for me on Mum's Day.

Glossy Ibis

A Pair of Carpet Pythons

Monty the Croc at the Crocoseum Wildlife Warriors SHOW

Now that is one big snake! This guy takes to the water for two shows a day.

Two of the three species of wombat live at the Australia Zoo, the Common Wombat and the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. The other species is the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. As you can see these were one of my favorite animals.

Common Wombat

Buzzy the Common Wombat

Grotty the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat wears a coat because he recently had an operation and his hair is growing back.

Grotty in his dashing coat.

Just another cute wombat picture I had to include.

"Help! Croc attack!"

Asian small-clawed otters by Gregory

The Perentie, Australia's Largest Lizard

The Komodo Dragon is part of the Endangered Species Breeding Program

Watching Acco the 16ft. Saltwater Croc eat his chicken (whole feathers and all) dinner. Photo by Gregory

My Budding Photographer

Acco gets another little snack after finishing off the whole chicken in one gulp.

This little guy seems to be saying, "When is it my turn in the jumpy house?" These lizards were scurrying all about the park and would startle people left and right. This little guy got two ladies off a bench in a hurry!

Mum's Day dinner at Noosa Marina including seafood and live music.

May 8, 2010

Our trip to the zoo was meant to be an early Mother’s Day present and it turned out to be quite the memorable Mother’s Day, not only because of all of the amazing animals and acts that we saw during the morning but also because I twisted my ankle at around 1:00 P.M. and that put me out of commission for the day! (We did return the next day, which was actually Mum’s Day and my boys drove me around in a wheelchair all day. That was a bit tough to relinquish full control! Four hunky fellows, from the Aussie Revue, also served me a complimentary morning tea!)

I must say that I was impressed with the park, which is very tidy and beautifully manicured (employees are always busy scrubbing bird droppings off the walkways and trees and raking up the kangaroo droppings). There are also professional presenters who do a great job conveying the conservation message to the public. The Wildlife Warriors SHOW at the Crocoseum was terrific and included birds soaring right over our heads, various snakes and feeding time for Monty the crocodile (Saturday) and Murray (Sunday). With a bit of humor, and a message to accompany each act, I was quite delighted by the entire show.

I must say that when Steve Irwin came up on the big screen with his message to preserve the earth and its creatures I was really moved. (If you don’t already know, a stingray killed Steve Irwin.) Steve’s wife Terri (who I just learned is American) and his children Bindi and Robert “Bobby” continue to carry on Steve’s legacy as well as the many people who work at the Australia Zoo and the Australian Wildlife Hospital (which is dedicated to the memory of Steve Irwin’s mother, Lyn Irwin.)

We enjoyed feeding elephants; patting kangaroos and wallabies, patting koalas and watching the crocs have a feed. The Aviary and The Wetlands were so very peaceful and it was such a joy to see the many species of birds that call Australia home. We also enjoyed seeing a couple of dingoes, a komodo dragon and the Perentie, Australia’s largest lizard. The wombats were one of my personal favorites as well as the and the spiky little echidna.

We saw a Tasmanian devil named Jinky, who is about to have a birthday, and we learned that the Tasmanian devils are in danger of extinction due to a facial tumour disease that is caused when they bite each other while fighting over food. There currently is no cure for this terrible disease. We bought a little packet to make a donation to the cause. If you are interested in learning more visit the above website.

Here is what Gregory had to say about the Australia Zoo:

May 8th, 2010

Crikey Mate! That’s what I say to the Australia Zoo! Home to the Crocodile Hunter! Steve Irwin! When we first entered the zoo we saw a Komodo Dragon, 2 Perentie Australian Lizards and Tortoises Live! There were 2 giant Aldabran Land Tortoises. Then we went and got to feed Asian Elephants squash. I got snot all over my hand! After we did that we went to the Crocoseum for the Wildlife Warriors Show and saw Monty the croc, water snakes and free flight birds including black cockatoos, lorikeets and a Jabiru. It was AWESOME!!!! Then we saw one of the 2 egg-laying mammals, the echidna! Next (it was off) to The Wetlands! We got to see the Jabiru again and the Brolga. Then mom fell and twisted her ankle!!! Charlie the Magpie Goose was worried about Mom! Dad had to run across the whole park to get a wheel chair for Mom! At the end we got to see Asian small-clawed otters swimming! I learned that they have fingernails instead of claws and that they are going extinct. I had a fun time.



March 10th, 2010

Our second day at the supersonic Australia Zoo was Mother’s Day. We went back a second day because the first day Mom hurt her ankle at noon and we didn’t get to finish the day. I had to push her around in a wheelchair almost all day. Dad only had to help me on the steep hills. One of the really fun things I got to do was pat a koala. They are really soft! I also got to pat wallabies and a kangaroo joey. Then, we went and saw venomous and nonvenomous snakes! We also saw the red panda again. The Tiger Temple was awesome with all of the tigers with it! We also got to see Acco the 16ft. croc that ate a whole chicken in one CHOMP! I HAD AN AWESOME TIME!




  1. Hey guys! Just checking in to let you know that we're still with you :-) Sounds like you're all having a fantastic time (despite the twisted ankle). I'm loving all the weird animal pics and I just had to lol about Gregory getting elephant snot all over his hand. He's getting so big and his hair is getting long. What a cutie he is! :-) I'm still learning how to use my Mac. It is going slowly because I'm really busy at work (that's a good thing) with lots of new website business. I haven't gotten skype yet but will try to get that sometime soon. Miss you guys!!
    ~ Blue

  2. Great to hear from you Blue. So glad you are still with us. Glad you are enjoying the pictures. Yes, Greg's hair is getting long! He refuses to cut and we are just going with it at this point though we comment on it every day.

  3. Hey guys! We haven't heard anything from you in a long time so I'm just checking in to see how things are going. Are you back in the states now? Where did you guys decide to live? Is Gregory going back to school this fall? Let us know what's up! :-) ~ Blue

  4. Hi. I was interested in obtaining permission to use a picture of the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat for a 1 - 2 minute video pitch I'm doing in regards to endangered animals - for a children's book idea. Please let me know if you would give me permission. Many thanks!