There are a few animal parks and sanctuary’s in Tasmania, at the weekend we visited ZooDoo for the first time.
It was easy to get up close to a variety of creatures, both Aussie locals and some from other continents. Meerkats, marmosets, emus, parrots, peacocks, wallabies and quolls were happy to pose for photos.
A safari bus took us into the enclosures of emu, camels, zebras.
I was conflicted about seeing lions in a confined enclosure, but there are no white lions left in the wild. The current population are all in captivity with active breeding programmes in place. Four cubs were born here in 2014, the second litter to these adult lions. The cubs were moved to zoos across Australia, to share the gene pool.
Animal Encounters take place each day, so I was able to see blue tongue lizards and touch a snake. A good reminder that these reptiles are waking from their winter hibernation now that it is spring here.
It was a fun day out.
Dolphins are regular visitors to Hobart and the River Derwent. Yesterday we were in the right place at the right time to watch a pod of eight larking around, so close to the shore and yacht club.
The kangaroo is an amazing and intriguing animal.
Here are a few facts:
• They can’t move backwards.
• They can jump up to three times their own height.
• On land kangaroos can’t move their hind legs independently, only together. But when they are swimming (they are good swimmers) they kick each leg independently.
• They are social animals who live and travel in organised groups (a “mob”) dominated by the largest male. There is generally at least 3 or 4 individuals in a mob and some groups, when conditions are good, can comprise of as many as 100 individuals.
• They have excellent hearing, and like some other animals they can move their ears in different directions without moving the rest of their head.
• A female kangaroo can have three babies at the same time: an older joey living outside the pouch but still drinking milk, a young one in the pouch attached to a teat, and an embryo awaiting birth.
• No matter where you go in Australia, there will be at least one species of kangaroo that lives in and is adapted to that area.
They are cute up close, curious creatures.
The joey’s still want to get in the mothers pouch, even when they are too big, and their legs hang out.
They have amazing eye lashes.
There is a new mural in Hobart, highlighting the plight of the endangered Tasmanian Devil.
The mural covers two walls at the entrance to a city car park, incorporating stairs and a bench.
I love the vibrant colours, the detail of the bush, against the empty space of a giant Tassie Devil.
It’s an original and innovative project, which has brightened up my day.
We had a visitor inside our office this morning. At first I only saw the head and tail. When I could see he had legs I was ok and took him outside with the advice not to hold him by the tail, as the tail will fall off and he’d run off. Really?
Colleagues then spent the rest of the day telling me about snake encounters, mice plagues and other joys of living in rural Tasmania.
There is a new sculpture at Hobart Airport, featuring our native marsupial, the Tasmanian Devil.
It was fun “people watching” as I waited for a friend’s flight to arrive.
So many people were intrigued by the Devils, touched them as they walked past, stopped to take a photo.
Sat next to the one on a bench.
They are a lovely welcome to Tasmania.
Here is an earlier post about the Tasmanian Devils
Yesterday we experienced harness racing for the first time. It was fascinating, with set races interspersed with junior events and pony club challenges. It was a real family afternoon out.
In case you don’t know …
The horses run at a specific gait (a trot or a pace). They pull a two wheeled cart, called a “sulky” where the “driver” sits.
A trotting horse moves its legs forward in diagonal pairs (ie right front and left hind striking the ground simultaneously), whereas a pacer moves its legs laterally (right front and right hind together).
Pace is a natural gait for many horses, also camels, elephants and giraffes.