Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Day at the Zoo

For those lucky enough to have visited the San Diego Zoo, I'm sure you will agree it is beautiful.
I would have thought it impossible to find a zoo more lovely then SD Zoo. However, the Auckland Zoo managed to top it by a mile. It does not give the impression of being a zoo at all. It is like walking in a park or perhaps walking around the world  with each bend in the road bringing you into another country. Not only are endangered animals being saved from extinction, but rescued animals are given a safe haven for life. They even take animals for walks around the zoo for additional exercise.
Here, one of the elephants are walking up the stairs next to the Merkats.
and here one of the pigs is having a noon day 
walk. Please note how clean the walkways are. Not only are the paid employees diligent at keeping animals and grounds well kept, but there are hundreds of volunteers as well. No matter where we wandered , we bumped into a volunteer preparing food, cleaning or caring for animals.
WE got to see 3 week old Merkat babies, under the watchful eye of their Mum.

Lots of beautiful birds in natural
surroundings. My favorite is the NZ Pukeko. I just love this silly big bird. It is also called a swamp hen because that's where you can find it most of the time.
Okay, so it isn't all that pretty
but aside from the Kiwi, it shouts NZ.
Please note the fluffy white carpet he is laying on. Talk about a contented animal.
Of course my favorite was the Fairy Penguins. The smallest penguins in the world.

Originally we felt that $120 per person was a lot of money to visit "Behind the scenes", but then we saw these little guys and found out we will be alone with them (not in a large group as we thought), we will get to spend 1 and a half hours, feeding and playing with them. So Rainer (as big of an animal lover as I am) decided it was something we had to do and booked it for this coming Sunday. It will be the high point of my trip for sure. All of these little guys are rescued, some are even missing a flipper and the zoo hopes to one day have an entire breeding colony of these little endangered penguins.
Stay tuned....

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