Saturday, April 12, 2008
A Perfect Day in Sydney Australia
I've been to Australia almost 30 times. I've been to Sydney at least 20 times, and had never before been to the Taronga Zoo. My thinking was this: I've been to many zoos, and would rather see animals in the wild. However, I forget that zoos have an important educational mission; they also care for the health of animals, and in some cases, they actually help keep certain animals from extinction. So, that said, , I arranged a private visit to the zoo with one of the zoo-keepers. This is actually a tour that I can arrange for my clients, and so I decided to experience it to determine if it's worth doing.
In a word: Youbetcha! Amazing experience. She took me into various animal enclosures, beginning with the Koala enclosure. Koalas in New South Wales suffer from 4 diseases caused by the chlamydia organism: conjunctivitis which can cause blindness, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and reproductive tract infections, which can cause female infertility. While the diseases won't manifest if the Koalas have unlimited resources, the reality is that their habitat has been severely compromised, and so their numbers have been affected drastically.
We went into the Australian Nocturnal Habitat - the keeper took me into various enclosures (which caused a bit of surprise for other visitors to the zoo. No, I am not a new kind of Australian Nocturnal Animal! I promise. Don't throw food at me, really!) Then we went into the kitchen where they prepare all kinds of foods for a majority of the animals - from live food (creepy crawly insect kind of thingies) to frozen mice and rats to chopped fruits and vegies - all in very sanitary conditions.
The experience was fun, and highly educational. I've decided that I am going to send all my clients on a back-stage visit to the zoo! It was amazing.