Wellington Zoo (5th December 2009)

Had a sleep in this morning after my late Friday night but the weather was too nice outside to be stuck in bed! Jono suggested that we visit Wellington Zoo located at the end of Daniell St in Newtown so around 11am, we walked from his place over to the zoo café, Velluto Café for brunch. I was scoffing down my Kiwi big breakfast while the poor fella chewed his food with care – his face was still swollen post-wisdom teeth extraction (he had all his wisdom teeth taken out earlier this week). Jono said he looked like a puffer fish with the swelling. Aww, you poor thing…*hugs* It’ll subside soon!

Cost us $20 per person for entry to the zoo – gee, that’s expensive! I’ve only been to the zoo once when I was still studying at university; I came on a rather gloomy day and hardly saw any animals or visitors in the zoo. Hmm, wonder if the zoo has changed much over the years…The zoo is NZ’s first zoo that houses over 500 animals (and over 100 species) spread around 13 hectares of land. We were given a map of the area and started our trip in the zoo checking out some peccaries, mammals which looked rather similar to wild boars. Jono was totally stalking the peccaries that were having a snooze in the shade, using his super long camera lens. Oh look, you woke them up!

We continued on our stroll in the sun watching the capuchins chase one another on Monkey Island, took more photos of animals such as tamarins (I like the Emperor tamarin – so small and cute!), a variety of birds and reptiles, a lone Malayan sun bear, several red pandas hiding on tree tops catching up with sleep and 2 squeaky Asian small-clawed otters. This must be a bad time to come to the zoo as most of the animals were either hiding, sleeping or just restless. Hmm…

We stopped by the zoo kiosk for an ice-cream and walked over to the tiger enclosure for the 2pm Talk Time, where visitors got to meet the keeper to learn all about the tigers and watched them get fed. The tigers in the zoo were Sumatran Tigers, highly endangered and are the smallest in the tiger species. As the keeper continued telling us more about the animal, he was also feeding raw mince meat to the male tiger, pushing the mince past the wired enclosure to the lips of the tiger. Normally, tigers would be tearing at large chunks of meat but this particular tiger had surgery so could no longer eat chunky meat. Wow, what huge teeth it has…I wouldn’t want my fingers anywhere near its mouth...The keeper proceeded to show us a battered and clawed plastic barrel that was the tiger’s toy. Just shows how powerful a tiger can be to cause such damaged to the thick barrel. You DO NOT want to mess with the beast!

After the tiger talk, we headed on to check out African Savannah where we found plenty of giraffes, gibbons, African wild dogs (eww, they stink!), ostriches, baboons (these fellas had no problem flashing their bright protruding pink buttocks) and chimpanzees. I was trying to figure out what the yellowish stain was on one of the chimp’s fingers. Peanut butter? Oh yuck, that’s disgusting!! The chimp had just put its finger in the arse and then smelt it. Eww, eww, EWW!!!!!!

Our trip in the zoo ended around 3pm. Though Wellington Zoo is still small compared to other zoos I’ve been to, I had a fun time in the sun with Jono, learning more about animals and snapping away on our cameras. Photos taken at the zoo today: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622833801635/detail/

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