Sunday, March 30, 2014

Adelaide Zoo and Botanic Garden

The last day I could sight-see in Adelaide was spent just were you'd expect it- at the zoo! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet any of the keepers in Adelaide. I just visited and looked at the animals, like a normal person. Adelaide Zoo was very close to the middle of the city and easy to get to from the bus stop. On the way there, I passed by the entrance to a music festival. It gave a hippy/folk vibe. I wasn't terribly interested in the festival, but found it hilarious that they had a large space of ground set aside as a "bike car park". The area was packed so full of bicycles that they had "overflow parking" along the fences surrounding the festival.

When I reached the zoo, it was much later in the day than I had expected it would be. I had forgotten to factor in over an hour for the bus and the fact that I was walking from there. I asked the lady at the admission counter what presentations were still happening. The last one of the day was just about to occur in their education building. So I rushed over immediately. The talk was on reptiles. There were people of all ages, including many little kids huddled around the front. When I walked in, the man giving the talk was already holding a blue-tonged skink and letting the crowd feel it's scales. He put the skink away, and reached into a container for a snake. 

"Does anyone know what we call this snake?" He enthusiastically held out a corn snake. I halfheartedly whispered the snakes name, assuming the kids in the front would know it. They were silent. "How about the adults?" More silence. I said the name again, but since I was in the far back from arriving late nobody heard. "What if I tell you this one's name is Maize/Maze and her friend of the same species is named Cobb." One elderly man in the crowd questioningly guessed corn snake, finally! The man giving the talk explained that most people might not have ever heard of corn snakes because they are illegal to have as pets here. This is due to them not being native.

After returning the snake to its box, the educator began talking to the kids about snakes they might find in their own backyards that could kill them. Specifically, he mentioned the two most deadly land snakes in the world that that live nearby, the Eastern Brown Snake and the Inland Taipan (aka the Fierce Snake.) He explained that if you came across one of these snakes you should stop, and slowly walk away if possible. If bitten you should identify the snake, get away calmly, notify someone for help, and pressure bandage the wound and above it. Apparently people have confused pressure bandaging with using a tourniquet and have had to get their limb amputated unnecessarily. He spent a bit of extra time describing the difference. Near the end of the talk, he also mentioned that snake bites in different areas of the world should be handled differently. His advice only pertained to Australian snakes.

After the reptile talk, I looked at the zoo map to decide what to see first. I ended up being able to see all of the animals, but I wanted to make sure to see the ones I was most interested in first, just in case I ran out of time. The giant panda caught my eye. I had never seen one in person before. 

I loved the panda staues on the way to the exhibit; loved them so much that I took more pictures of the staues than the animals. When I got to the exhibits I found that the female, Funi, was off display due to a pseudo-pregnancy.  The male, Wang Wang, was actively walking around his exhibit and eating. I snapped a few pictures of him before quickly going through the zoo to see the rest of the animals.

Wang Wang, the male giant panda.

The giant panda exhibit was quite large and beautiful, with a wide variety of trees, plants, rocks, and water features. 

While I couldn't get any good pictures of the tiger, I loved the signs. They were beautiful, bright, and informative!

I thought this guy was a squirrel at first glance, but it turned out to be a Common Tree Shrew. They are native to south east Asia.

While I am still not the biggest fan of otters due to rehabilitating two very naughty otters a few years ago, this Small Clawed Otter was too cute to resist.

I walked by the petting zoo and had to do a double take. This is a White-tailed deer fawn, isn't it? I don't know them too well, but sure looked like one to me. Never seen one in a zoo before.

And another pretty statue. :)

There were a few places in the zoo with small, dated, concrete and chain fence exhibits, but most were large and beautiful. I didn't think the zoo was quite worth the thirty something dollars I had to pay, but I'm still glad I went. I enjoyed the nocturnal house and the reptile house the most. Unfortunately, none of my pictures turned out from either place. 

After the zoo, I decided to take a peek into the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which happened to be just next door. The festival blocked off most of the paths into the garden, but I was able to find a clear one without too much trouble. I walked around, took a few pictures, and then left in the pursuit of a barbecue chicken dinner. 

Was filled with birds, bathing in the water


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