Meet the staff
The folks who work at Australia Zoo share Steve and Terri Irwin's love of animals, and it shows in everything they do. And, they about THE most hospitable and accomodating folks we've ever come across at a major "attraction". They were especially happy that Sara has such an undying devotion to animals, and their rescue and rehab. The zoo staff went out of their way to insure that Sara's visit to Beerwah was everything she'd imagined and more.
You'll not find any surly or crabby folks working Aussie Zoo. And, you'll also find so many people who've been there for quite a while. I get the feeling that the Irwin family are excellent employers, the kind of people you want to work for.
One FAT Wombat. :)
What a cute critter...my wife and daughter loved this wombat. Aptly named "minibus" for her less than girlish figure, this little round marsupial is quite a handful, weight-wise. Don't be fooled by Minibus' apparently lack of agression, the wombat CAN be a cranky animal.
They are vegetarian, as are their marsupial brothers and sisters, the kangaroo. Judging from the size of Minibus, I'd guess it'd take a LARGE salad or two to fill her up.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree....
And another song we all sang as schoolkids...
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, eating all the gumdrops he can see,
Laugh, Kookaburra, Laugh Kookaburra, some some gum for me.
Well, we didn't see them eating any gumdrops, but their call sure does sound like a wacky laugh. If you didn't know better and heard it, you might look to make sure you hadn't ripped your pants or something.
Kookaburra are, much like vultures, scavengers. They are natures laughing garbage collectors, keeping dead critters cleared from the highways and byways of down under.
Everybody loves the koalas, the literal symbol (along with the kangaroo) of the land downunder. Basically, these little guys just remain in a semi-buzzed state most of their lives, nibbling on eucalyptus leaves. In some ways, they're a little bit like members of the Grateful Dead, I'd guess...just enjoying life and hanging on.
One little warning, these guys are uninhibited...it could be the eucalyptus. When we posed for photos with one of them, he became "turned on" by my wife Bonnie, resulting in a somewhat brazen display of physical transformation. :) I thought I was gonna have to go a round or two with the koala over my wife. Heh heh.
Echidna....a down-under porcupine cousin
It's hard to imagine a porcupine family reunion...sounds a bit prickly if you ask me. But if such a shindig were to occur, the Australian representatives would include the echidna. In the attached photos, Sara is holding (with the help of Aussie zoo staffer Greg) an echidna. This was one of the special encouters that the zoo allowed Sara to have...the general public only gets such opportunities via advance reservation.
The echidna is basically a gentle vegetarian creature. Normally, its quills or somewhat sheathed closed to its body, meaning that gently touching and carrying the echidna is no problem. However if startled, it will display a fan of extremely sharp spiked quills to discourage any agressor.
Be quiet and gentle, Sara.
And yes... Sara did develop a bit of a crush on Greg, the zoo guy. See attached photo.
B I G SNAKES
And on the other side of the snake size spectrum, we have the Burmese Python. Native to SE Asia, these monsters are not poisonous, but are far from truly harmless. Possessing huge and sharp fans, a bit from a python is not to be taken lightly. And, they're capable of crushing and swallowing an entire goat... or perhaps a small child?
NO, Sara... we can't take it home.
All over the zoo, members of the staff are circulating with animals, offering the public and hands-on encounter. This little guy is a corn snake, which my daughter tells me is totally harmless...other than making dad and mom's skin crawl. The corn snake is good for controlling the rodent population, living in field, barns, old buildings and such. These snakes are also called "red rat snakes", and they are native to the USA.
In the photos below, Sara is greeting her reptilian countrysnake.
Steve Irwin World !!!
I was very impressed with the exhibits when I went to Australia Zoo last year. Since then, I think they have expanded the size of the park with more animals.
I was lucky enough to see Steve in action that day. I don't think he is always there, but it makes it well worth it if he is.
$24.00- Student / Pensioner
$19.00- Child (3 to 14)
Free- Child under 3
See my travelogue for more photos.
- Theme Park Trips
A great day for all the family can be had at Australia Zoo. Check out the below Travelogue for more details!