Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wings Wildlife Park

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In our family, it's tradition to take the kids to see a movie for their birthday. This was far more doable in America when movies, especially for children, were released all year round. Because school holidays and summer fell during the December - February timeline a half dozen or more kids movies were brought out at the SAME TIME! We treated the boys to a movie in December, and then we treated them to another two in January, plus Nana treated them (and cousins) to yet another! We decided we were a bit movied out for Morgan's birthday and opted for something else.

We've been promising to take the boys camping, which was on the list, but we opted out until March so we could wait out the final days of the school holiday. Then we thought about a wildlife park we've been discussing going to for some time, and Morgan agreed he'd really like to go.  So we opted for Wings Wildlife Park

We ended up going after lunch and spent a considerable amount of time wandering amongst various animal enclosures. Something to keep in mind if you ever go, it's NOT a zoo. Many of the animals there will be released again at some point and time. Some of the animals there serve a purpose you probably don't want to think about (like the mice..) Some of the animals are there by choice, like the wallabies who could easily jump over their fence, but prefer for you to scratch their ears and give them grain..

Morgan was super excited about those crazy piggies, but he was also REALLY excited that they had live camels. Last year we studied camels when we rowed the book Miss Rumphius. For those of you who haven't read the book, Miss Rumphius travels the world and ends up hurting her back climbing off a camel.  Morgan got to see his camels (no pictures, but possible video..) but only at a distance. Their paddock was large and they were all the way in the back, so were the bison (bummer I was holding out for them!). However, we had a blast enjoying some of the other animals present.

They had some very VERY large fish who were so eager for food they would jump OUT of the water. Jayden is convinced they are baby dolphins (he has an infatuation there) because he knows for sure that dolphins jump out of the water. (His theory was very sound to be honest with you..) There was one of the trouts that would sit there with his mouth hanging wide open. I attempted to video them jumping, but I haven't uploaded it yet.. In the mean time you can enjoy a few photos.

These were also my favorite.. they had two baby wombats inside. They had a friendly rabbit in with them (apparently wombats and rabbits like each other, because the older wombats outside also had rabbits to keep them company?!) When we were done these little fellows were waking up and rubbing all over the bunny. The door of the room they were in had screening on it so the boys squatted down to talk and the little fellows came running over to look at them.


These two were also inside. They are 7 months old and their diet was being watched to be sure they'd be okay out on their own. Again, dinner time must have been close to our leaving time because they woke up and had a great game of chase with each other and when they heard the boys laughing they, too, came up to the door to have a peak and see who was watching them.


This is the BIGGEST echidna I've yet to see, and we've seen several in the wild and in another wildlife park. This guy was HUGE. I'm talking as big as a full grown cat. It was unreal. The picture isn't so great because he was in a room and we had to take the picture through glass. 


This is only a small portion of the managagre of guinea pigs they had! Notice the two very tiny ones in the picture? The blurred thing is the third little one. Those were the three the guys fell in love with and had hoped to bring at least one of them home, but they were a bit too young yet. Mind you, by three weeks you separate the boys because they are mature.. but the girl in charge was thinking they were only about two weeks..


This is a wedgetailed eagle, & are highly endangered and very rare to see in the wild.  He kept a very close eye on us, and looked like he'd take flight a few times, we had hoped he would so we could get a picture of his wingspan which is amazing. There was no sign explaining why they had this fellow. At the last Rehabilitation park we visited they had a pair of them, each one had been shot in a wing, and both were incapable of flying. This one didn't appear to be injured, rather he looked pretty annoyed that we stopped to gawk at him. Very intimidating!


One of the many grey roos laying around inside a paddock with turkeys. They were more then happy to be fed and pet..


See what I mean! We had three of them eating out of our hands at once. The smaller of the two (on the left) kept putting it's paws on my hand while he ate.. Very cute.


This is a wallaby, they tend to be a lot more jittery then the roos. They are also smaller and their coloring is very different, can you tell the difference?


This is a Pademelon. They are smaller then a wallaby, but bigger then a potaroo. Either way, we didn't feed them, but admired them from afar. The signs clearly warned that they are known for biting and scratching. Yeah, we enjoyed watching them bounce around and nibble the grass in their field. 


Aren't they cute hugging like that? Koalas aren't actually native to Tasmania, we have none here except in the occasional animal park. We don't sport the right kind of gum trees here for them!


Okay, this goat scared all of us! We heard him bleating on the other side of the fence and I walked over to say hello when he jumped up startling me. The kids took off running SCREAMING and I could NOT convince them to come back and let him eat out of their hands. Morgan did, eventually come back and pet it, Jayden kinda oogled from far enough back that it couldn't "sniff" him.


Everybody has a waterbuffalo, yours is fat but mine is slow... Okay, seriously we couldn't stop singing that silly song after we caught sight of these fellows. They were fun to see too, as we'd also studied about them this past school year.


Okay, so we do have a picture, but that's just how far away these fellows were!


There was three of these that were following us up and down the fencerows when they saw the food bag. Funnier yet, when I'd feed them (the boys wouldn't do it!) this turkey would come running up and wait patiently for me to drop him a handful of grain as well. These guys saw the food bag in Jayden's hand and leaned WAY over the fence to sniff it, it caught him off guard and we had a time convincing him to pat them anyway. When I mentioned how Mary and Joseph might have ridden on one he was amazed that the SAME donkey could POSSIBLY be in Australia.. Talk about losing something in translation! 

Despite being frightened of these big fellows he fell in love with a VERY small white horse. He was most put out when I wouldn't give it anymore feed telling me, "He has a very sad look on his face because you won't give him more. Maybe you should now!" 


You can't see it in this picture, but these little guys had speckled bums, I promise! They were deer, and it was neat to be able to feed them. They were highly skitterish (aren't all deer?) unlike the goats who are bull headed and willing to do whatever it takes to get some feed! Morgan was willing to scratch these guys, but they weren't keen on it, a second hand in the fence scared them. Jayden wouldn't do it because he was sure the fence was electric?! Yes, we stuck our hands through the fence, no it wasn't against the rules! Just thought I'd clarify that one for you..


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