Sunday was an exciting day. The day finally came when we would be seeing those precious blue penguins, up close and personal and it was raining like a monsoon. A lot of positive thinking brought us some dry time as we entered the zoo. 10 min. later it started to sprinkle so Rainer ran back to the car for our jackets. Harriet, our cute little guide, assured me that once we had jackets, the rain would stop and it did.
We were given special badges and taken to "Staff Only" places in the zoo, behind the scenes.
First stop the holding room for the penguins, this is where we got the low down on our little friends and the fact that they are all rescue birds. Each with it's own story. Blue Penguins are the smallest penguins in the world, they are only about a foot tall. Their names are Moki,Koura,Mako,Ari,Kingi, Tai,Marlin,Dory and Coral.
Some preferred we throw the fish into the water. When they had enough attention they let us know.
Also living with the Penguins are Boswick and Austin, two spotted Shags. We got to feed Austin when he decided to come down from his house.
Then it was on to the sea lions and seals. The Auckland zoo has several New Zealand Fur seals that can dive deeper then any other seal.The female Moana and the male Kaiako.
Atamai is a baby fur seal and the funniest little guy. I have to admit that we had the most fun with Scuttles the sea lion. He was hell bent on getting us soaked and he managed quite well. So much for dodging the rain LOL Harriet took professional pictures of us but they are on a CD and NOT very flattering (LOL that's another story)
Harriet taking a picture of Rainer with Orua. Then me, also with Orua, up close and personal
in the penguins and almost requested they allow us to stay with them rather then move to the seals and sea lions, however,these animals captured our hearts and I am so glad we got to spend time with them.They are amazing animals and so very smart. They can be trained within 3 days to listen and react to commands.
What a fabulous experience this encounter was. Harriet also took us behind the scenes to see how the salt water is made for the pools, and how animals, in this case the Giraffe are transported over the ocean from one zoo to another.
If you are ever in NZ, make sure you put the Zoo on your list of things to see. It is a wonderful as well as educational experience.Ask for Harriet, she knows her stuff LOL
Needless to say I took hundreds of pictures. I hope you've enjoyed those that I've shared. More adventures lay ahead so stay tuned.