The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Posted by pauaprincess on October 12, 2007

lion1If you find yourself at a loose end one day, a trip to the Zoo is always fun, even for us grown ups. I went today with my camera and spent about 5 hours walking around. Actually I dragged my mother with me, which meant I had to carry around not only my own gear, but half of hers as well, mainly because she kept forgetting stuff and I’d just sling another bag over my shoulder at each stop. Still I got to use her massive 170-500mm sigma lens. It’s amazingly cool but quite frankly it weighs a ton!Lion2 Still to get this close to big cats, I’d be risking life and limb without it, not to mention a huge fine or something if I survived the encounter.

The lions were relatively wide awake when we got there at 9:30 this morning, but soon settled into their routine of watching their guests. For some reason, none of the females were in the enclosure. They were there last time I visited earlier this year.

What a brilliant life, sitting in the sunshine, looking regal, watching people come and go. I could do with a bit of that. Actually, if I were a cat, I think I’d be my Dad’s cat, his pets are treated so well, I know I’d have an easy life.

Still it’s not all big cats there! The hippo’s were enjoying a morning swim in their hippowallow too. I’m not sure if he was tired or hungry, you decide. His broken tooth looks a bit scary. No doubt if a dentist saw him he’d be sucking on laughing gas quicker than you can say root canal! It doesn’t appear to bother him at all and I’m guessing tartar control toothpaste passed him by! Years ago, when I was a kid, the Meola Creek flooded one spring and a hippo swam out and went wandering around Western Springs for a brief period. Recently an Otter escaped and spent a couple of weeks gadding about Auckland. She was recaptured and is now in Hamilton Zoo as there was an upcoming swap and she was going to have to go into quarantine before being reunited with her family.

ostrich

The ostrich didn’t appear to impressed by my lens, but I guess when you share an enclosure with a giraffe or two, there isn’t much that doesn’t look tiny in comparison. The Zebra’s were feeling shy today, they didn’t show their stripy faces so much as their rear ends and no offence Zebra’s but nobody wants a pic of horses butts, striped or no!

It was threatening rain, but we only had one quick shower and the clouds meant nice soft lighting on the animals in the main. By the time we got to Tiger territory, I was knackered. We’d visited elephants, meerkats, orangutans, red pandas and a multitude of animals in between. Thank goodness the keepers were mucking around in the enclosure so we got to sit and have a mochacino while we waited for the appearance of Oz, the Auckland Zoo’s gorgeous tiger.

tiger

Oz was definitely worth the wait! He’s absolutely magnificent, there’s no other way to describe him. He emerged from his cave and there was a rush to his enclosure. As his keepers had changed all his toys, he strode around examining everything, you could almost see him cataloguing what was new. When he was satisfied that he’d seen everything there was, he settled down in the sun for a snooze.

I’ve visited Auckland Zoo at various points throughout my life and watched it change from a place where wild animals were kept behind bars in small cages, to an interactive experience with animals in habitats that are as close to natural as is possible considering they are in a foreign country for the most part. Auckland Zoo is part of a breeding and conservation program and the animals enclosures are changed around regularly to keep them mentality and physically stimulated. A far cry from it’s beginnings as an exhibit and the old days when the late Polar bear walked up and down it’s enclosure swinging it’s head because it had gone insane. I remember visiting Taronga Zoo in Sydney and thinking Auckland Zoo could learn from them, well apparently they have. Kashin the elephant has been at the Zoo ever since I can remember, she has a new friend, Burma who I’ve seen a number of times since she arrived as a baby in 1990. Now she’s as big as Kashin and I can’t really tell the difference between them.

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3 Responses to “Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo”

  1. bee said

    animals are always gorgeous subjects. love their expressions.

  2. scrappydo said

    Love your photos – clearly a wee bit of talent in that department 🙂 The animals look as if they were obliging you too which is always nice.

  3. panoramia said

    Nice shots! Again you make me jelly jelly jelly … more?

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