Zoo Fun Times

Melbourne Zoo is one of my happy places. It has two of my favourite things: animals and a Mr Whippy van.

Double soft serve. SO GOOD.

Double soft serve. SO GOOD.

Yesterday I went with a friend I used to work with.

Presently it’s not far from my house and guess what? I’m a Zoos Victoria member so I get to go to all of the zoos in all of the states for free (well at least the ones associated with my membership). That’s pretty helpful when you’re unemployed and thanks must go to Mum for renewing my membership this year.

Another thing about being a member to organisations is that you get a special line and can zip past the other people. Good times.

MZ have developed a few new enclosures over the past few years. There is a seal pool where you can sit and watch them swim through an enclosed space under the water. It’s very soothing and if you are ever having an anxiety-ridden day I highly recommend you go and watch the seals gracefully go ’round and ’round until you’re hypnotised into calm. Just before you enter the underwater bit there are ace sharks and stingrays. I was a bit worried about the stingrays as they were hanging out at the surface and some school kids wanted to touch them … I don’t know if that would make them anxious. I think the kids did the right thing in the end, but anyways.

Lovely stingrays.

Lovely stingrays.

Lemur Island is an interactivey enclosure which was opened last year. It is GENIUS. You get to go through some security gates which are made pretty by a woven structure into an area where you just walk about, with lemurs everywhere. They jump up next to you and do cheeky lemur things and you can watch them being fed. It is nuts amazing.

Lemurs being cheeky lemurs.

Lemurs being cheeky lemurs.

I hadn’t realised until we were walking about that there’s a newish giant turtle enclosure. You can get pretty close to them wandering about, doing turtle things like ambling and eating. It’s pretty rad.

Giant turtle (or tortoise?). SO close.

Giant turtle (or tortoise?). SO close.

My friend was most excited about the meerkats. Like lemurs I think they are also a bit cheeky. There were three zoo keepers in with them and one of the meerkats kept trying to get into one of their boots. Some others had made a lemur pile and seemed to be having a lot of fun together. I took some film of them doing this but WP won’t let me upload it as the file is the wrong type or something. Here is a consolation picture of some others.

Consolation meerkat pic.

Consolation meerkat pic.

In the middle of the Zoo there’s a lot going on to make way for the new lion exhibit so said lions are hanging out with the other big cats. I can’t wait for the new enclosure. One of the great things about it is that much of the waste from demolition of the old place is being recycled. The Zoo are very careful about their carbon footprint and run a number of environmental awareness campaigns, which is one of the reasons I am proud to be a member.

It always seems to be the way that the lions are sleeping when I visit them and a lady nearby remarked that her experience of them is the same. But, they appear to be pretty comfortable. So that’s nice. At the moment they are near one of my favourite animals, the snow leopard. It was also sleeping but in a different cage and much easier to spot than usual. They look so soft and lovely. By this point my phone had died as usual so I couldn’t take any pictures.

When we got back to my friend’s car she had a ticket. The car parks were packed when we arrived so we went to one which was a bit of a walk away and got a ticket. What we didn’t realise is that it was a school zone park. All of the cars parked had also got one. So do be careful of the parking signage when you visit. Also – take some sun screen and a parasol. There aren’t a lot of shaded areas (well the animals need the sun) so be sure you’re prepared.

Except for the ticket it was a lovely day. I might go back next week as I have a lot of study and job applying to do so I’m a bit stressed out at the moment. Going to the Zoo always helps me calm down though. I wish I had an aquarium membership too as that would also be soothing.

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