March 3, 2018

Taronga Zoo

Visiting Taronga Zoo was high on my list of things to do in Sydney, and not just due to this week's preview at the office. I was excited at the chance to see as many of Australia's unusual creatures as possible.

The ferry ride, past the Opera House, was a bonus.

I don't remember the last time I've visited a zoo. I do remember seeing my first bald eagle decades ago, at the San Diego Zoo, and how sad I felt that it was standing on the ground, confined. Now that I recognize the role that modern zoos play in the conservation of endangered creatures, I saw this family of Western Lowland Gorillas in a different light.

It was a warm day, and the animals were coping with that as they naturally do: they sleep. Koalas, of course, mostly sleep (as much as 20 hours per day).

A curious wombat emerged from the cool of its den.

There was one big bird that was completely unfamiliar to me: the cassowary.

Some opportunistic locals roamed free.

I had no idea there were native crocodiles. I'd heard about Australia's spiders and snakes, but not about the dangers of the platypus: An egg-laying mammal with a beak like a duck and a tail like a beaver; the males have venomous spurs on their hind legs.

Towering giraffes, towering buildings.

And a towering Aermotor (Australian-style), in the farmyard section!

A foraging wallaby hopped across a footpath, while the kangaroos lounged in the shade.

It's all happening at the zoo.

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