Lions and Tigers and Bears...oh my!
I took a twelve minute ferry trip across Sydney harbor during my recent trip to Sydney, Australia to visit Taronga Zoo, located across the harbor on Bradleys Head Road in Mosman, NSW, Australia. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when they re-open)
Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals on 52 acres (21 hectares), making it one of the largest of its kind. The zoo places emphasis on the promotion of world wildlife conservation. Since 2008 the Taronga Foundation has spent over $200,000 helping protect endangered species in the wild, helping save and regenerate natural habitats and working with local communities to reduce conflict with wildlife. 2010 was earmarked as the International Year of Biodiversity where the Taronga Conservation Society supported nine projects focusing on education, anti-poaching, population management, wildlife health and habitat restoration. These projects are taking place in Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Nepal, Tanzania and Zambia and will help protect the habitat, health and safety of a variety of animals. You can see a full list of all the animals living at the zoo at this link.
The zoo is located on a high hill so I took the "Sky Safari" ride to the top to be able to walk my way down hill through the grounds of the zoo.
My first sight was a kola bear hanging in a eucalyptus tree! Taronga is currently home to 21 koalas.
The next was an exciting exhibit in which you do a "walkabout" with the kangaroos. They literally hopped all around me! The male Red Kangaroo is pale red to brick red in colour while the female is usually blue-grey in colour. The Western Grey Kangaroo is brown in colour while the Eastern Grey Kangaroo is grey.
I was enthralled by the many birds in exhibits. Most of the aviaries were walk through exhibits where I could see the birds close up as they flew around and rested on tree branches.
This group was playing in a waterfall.
There were many entertaining shows during the day -- a wonderful free flight bird show with some breathtaking views of the city of Sydney in the background across the bay, and also .....
...... a sea lion show.
I was by the lion area to listen to a zoo keeper's talk and this beauty lioness, perhaps anticipating the feeding hour, came right up to the Plexiglas window and looked right into my eyes for almost a minute! I have to say as a person who likes cats it was one of the most amazing and intense encounters with a wild feline that I've ever had.
I think I watched the lions for over an hour -- they were so majestic!
A lion yawning .
The giraffe exhibit also was situated to allow for wonderful close ups. I felt as if they were smiling at me!
Of course there were many other wonderfully cared for animals.......
and reptiles, to see at the zoo.
You can see a full alphabetical list of all the animals that are part of the zoo at this link.
The Floral Clock at the Taronga Zoo. The Floral Clock was donated to Taronga by the late Sir Arthur Rickard, KBE, of Sydney. The clock was officially started on 19th December 1928. The clock 'cuckoos' once at the quarter-hour, twice at the half-hour, three times at three quarters of an hour, and the full number of hours at each hour. The clock keeps the time accurately and is wound once a day
The beautiful Taronga Zoo was really one of the highlights of my trip! I highly recommend including a visit to this beautiful zoo if you visit Sydney, Australia. You won't be disappointed, as there are many opportunities to learn more about the magnificent animals that are there.
As an aside, my heart and prayers go out to the people of Japan. The earthquake and tsunami were such horrible disasters. As always after an world disaster we will be making a contribution to the Red Cross to help support aide to Japan. Using your cell phone, you can text-message donations of $10 to the Red Cross. Text the letters REDCROSS to 90999 to make the $10 donation, or visit the organization's website.
I'm linking this post to "Mosaic Monday" on Mary's blog Little Red House. Thanks, Mary!