Doin’ the Taronga

Flexibility is the key to any successful operation.  Staying with-in the parameters of the over-all mission, but not being locked into a specific tactic.  Given our over-all objective is to see Sydney and the surrounding areas, the fact that we needed to deviate from our intended plan is of little consequence.  We were supposed to tour the Hunter wine valley, but we misread out train schedule and thus missed our connecting bus and pretty much that was that.  No matter!  We’re off to explore!  God has a reason for this detour and we will make the most of it.

So we’re off to Taronga Zoo.  Though not really zoo people, it was rated quite high on the “must see list” by nearly every travel posting; so who are we to say “no”?  We’re off to see Roo’s in their semi-natural habitat (well, at least it’s their natural country).  It was a short but scenic ferry ride on this sunny Saturday with warm breezes and high wispy clouds.  And as is usually the case when we visit an entertainment venue that also has an educational slant, we learned something.  Quite a bit actually.  For starters we learned that being amongst the first people in the park at 9:00 am on a Saturday is definitely the way to “do the Taronga”.  By the time we were ready to leave the park around 1:00, the families the little kids and strollers had descended.

First stop inside the zoo was the Antarctic section; sea otters, sea lions, etc.  Did you know that there are 17 different species of penguins and the largest, the emperor, is as tall as a man?  Wow!  I did know that they all hung out exclusively in the southern hemisphere, but did not know that they also live in parts of Africa, South America, Australia and other extreme southern areas.  Pretty cool (pardon the pun).

The zoo may not be as large as a safari park, but it’s not bad.

We saw Spider Monkeys scratching their (comparably large) testicles, rather bored or at least lethargic kangaroos/wallabies, a taper, lions (struck a nice pose for us), tigers and a bear (Oh my).

Lots of birds too, really big ones, both water and land.  Australia is known to have a lot of the most dangerous animals; deadliest spider, snake and even jellyfish.

Lookin for Little Johnny!
 It also has the deadliest bird and it’s on the endangered species list (gee, can imagine why).  It’s called a Cassowary and like so many of the odd creatures here (i.e. platypus) it looks like you glued together piece parts of other animals.  Their trying to breed these birds which are the size of ostriches, and rerelease them.  There’s a charming little bedtime story for little Johnny.  “Eat all you veggies or the Cassowary might catch ya.  Nighty night.” We caught the cable car back to the wharf, sailing far above the sea of humanity that had similarly decided that today was a good day for the zoo.   Though as we pass over head, I can’t help but wonder, who’s watching whom.

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