Thursday, July 02, 2009

Home of the Crocodile Hunter!

Ever since Lowell and I decided to spend time down under, we've been very excited to visit Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo.

First though, we saw pelicans! One of Nat's patients told her about the pelicans who religiously congregate on Dippy Lagoon so the Charis Seafood staff can toss them their day-old fish.

Have you ever seen pelicans before? They're so BIG! And also very cool.

We took about 95 pictures of them, but I narrowed it down for y'all...

Now off to the zoo! We left bright and early so we could be there by opening and beat the mad rush of children (as they're on school holidays right now).

And yes, we have brought the big Aussie hand along for all of our adventures together.

The thing I was MOST looking forward to at the zoo was seeing (well, ideally MEETING but that didn't happen) the Irwin family.

(I'm attempting to imitate Steve's big stare-y eyes).

As luck would have it, they put on a little show in the Crocoseum- all three of them: Terri, Bindi, and little Robert.

We got there early so we'd have good seats.

Terri was a great public speaker- very witty!

Bindi was, of course, adorable...

And little Robert wasn't scared of the mic at all. He was quite the little comic.

Before Terri and Wes (who was Steve Irwin's best mate) began interacting with the crocs, Bindi and Robert were whisked to the side of the fence with some zoo workers. This is no doubt done to avoid nasty phonecalls to child and family service.

Terri had never worked with this particular croc before, but she began luring him out by dangling croc food and stomping the ground (they like to follow the vibration).

He wasn't responding to her feminine stomps, so Terri convinced Wes to use his dominant masculinity to lure the croc.

And it worked!

At this point, Bindi came out to help feed the croc (all the while under Wes' protective wing).

After messing with the croc a bit more on land, it was Wes' duty to get him back into the water.

He was sure serious about his job. When this didn't work, he jumped into the water to tempt the croc.

Like Terri, he was very fun and witty (and I secretly hope that a little romance is developing between them).

This croc had never 'tail-walked' before, but Terri attempted to train him on the spot.

He never did do the tail-walk, but he sure did do the death roll ON LAND (as opposed to in the water while drowning his prey) which Terri had never seen before. We felt so special to witness it with the Irwin clan for the first time. What a bonding moment.

After the show (which was completely delightful), we visited the other animals.

In 'Kangaroo Heaven', the roos just ran around freely (within a large fenced-in complex of course).

They didn't even flinch at our gentle touch. They were sooooooooo soft!

(I included this picture to show how the kangaroos use their tails as another foot. Check out the one on the right.)

We also had the pleasure of petting a sleepy koala...

There are a whole lot of other animals zoo. Here is a small smattering of them...



(Weird bird that looks like an ostrich-peacock-combo)

(huge turtle)

(Tasmanian devil. We were disappointed that this rat-pig-looking-combo didn't spin in crazy circles!)

Before we left, we paid a visit to Steve Irwin's tribute...

And that, friends, was Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Worth every penny.

1 comment :

Karyn Clemens said...

I took about a thousand pictures of the penguins in Calgary last summer. You should go look at the album entitled "Pelicans" on my facebook page. They were wicked cool.

Glad to see you're still having fun! How could you not?!