10/06/2013

I Got That Jungle Fever - A Trip to Werribee Open Range Zoo


Not contented on spending the spending the long weekend doing the routine coffees and pretty much nothing, I dragged Steve along to the Werribee Open Range Zoo at the other side of the town. It was one of those dry, sunny winter days that were perfect for such an outing. 

The park was separated into three sections: Pula Reserve Trail, Australian Journey and Wiribi River Trail. The Pula Reserve Walking Trail simulated numerous African habitats, from lions to meerkats, to the marshy riverine habitat of the hippopotamus. The zoo entry also included a safari bus tour, where we saw many animals in their natural (or, as natural as can be) habitat. The tour guide explained to us that due to the fact that a large part of the zoo is an open reserve, animals can be destructive and pests such as feral cats, rabbits and foxes are constantly causing destructions to the habitat. In fact, we missed out on seeing the African Wild Dogs up and about because the animals got into the scruffle in the morning and I presume they had to be sedated (so the children would not be frightened?) 

The Australian Journey and Wiribi River Trail simulated the Great Australian Plain and preserved part of the swamp habitat that used to be where the zoo is. There was even a slightly eerie wool shed. Maybe it was the cold weather, because the animals weren't that active. But I still managed to capture some nice shots of the animals and sceneries. Here are some of my favourites:



The Brazilian Boa did not even bother to come out of its warm cover (I would've done the same myself).

The hippo did not even try...



The cheetahs were my favourite exhibit. It was my first time being so close to one. At one point, it looked at me straight in the eye and I saw it as what it was: an animal. Merciless and ready to kill. Yet, it stood elegant, poised and astute (maybe it was sedated too?) No wonder the cheetah is one of the muses of Cartier.

The gorillas were very elusive. They seemed to only appear during feeding time. This photo was taken at 10x zoom as we were that far away from it. You can picture what a massive beast this one is.

It's always touching to see the relationship between animals. The mother zebra was very protective over her young foal. I captured the foal nuzzling against its mother's ears while the bus was moving. When the bus stopped, the mother zebra strode in front of it foal, shielding her baby from us.



I have a soft spot for rhinos since watching David Attenborough's Africa. They are misunderstood creatures. This one here was grazing alone and I couldn't help but felt sorry for it. But the Werribee Zoo website stated that they just had a baby rhino. So I can only presume this one here is the mummy rhino and she was separated from her young just as a precaution.




"G'day, mate!"



I was going for a sort of jungle exploror chic look with the earthy tones. The tribal inspired necklace was only $9 from Lovisa. But the choice of outfit is based on practicality: it only requires machine wash rather than handwash...and no ironing required! 

A wool shed in a zoo - who would've thought. It's a heritage building so I assume it is important. 



Eerie walkway. I didn't like it in there at all. It felt more like an abattoir than a wool shed.





The Wiribi River Trail was beautiful and serene. It was so refreshing walking among the trees and inhaling the aromas of nature. There were signs everywhere warning visitors about snake sightings. Thankfully we did not encounter any. I can imagine that would be a problem for visitors during summertime.

At the end of the day, I went home sun-drenched and a little tired, but at the same time refreshed and wholesome. It's the type of feeling you get when you go on a vacation and saw or experience something new. I never thought I would enjoy zoo as an adult, but I did. It was a good outing for young and old alike and highly recommended for all.  

I wonder what new adventures the following weeks and months will bring...

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