Time for one of my rare posts that has nothing to do with anime merchandise or imports (well I guess it was somewhat inspired from Shirokuma Cafe lol). Even though this is about a week late I really wanted to make a blog post about my recent trip to the Melbourne ZOO since the last time I’ve been to this place was about 3 or 4 years ago.
I had been planning to make this trip back about a month ago, but pushed it back as there was a few other events going on in Melbourne at the time (like the Armageddon Expo). Glad that I did though since the weather turned out perfect on the day I went (which was also quite full of people) and remained that way all day, knowing Melbourne’s unpredictable weather pattern, I can probably say it was a blessing haha.
Pictures can be enlarged by right-clicking “View Image”
So because I have been watching Shirokuma Cafe recently, my interest in actually going to the zoo peaked up again and I wanted to see if the Melbourne ZOO had many of the animals that appears in the anime. Sadly, I think about only four of the exact animal species portrayed from the anime was there on the day. I’ll list the ones I saw by posting images of their portrayals from the anime.
I guess you can tell from those four which animals they are (Red Pandas aka Lesser Pandas, Giant Tortoise, Mandrill and Giraffes). There were also Lions, Tigers and some Otters but I can’t remember if they’re the same exact species from the anime as well. One animal I really wished the Melbourne ZOO had was some llamas XD, but I guess the climate in Australia is unsuitable for their kind or something. The closest I’ve seen Australia have that are similar to them are alpacas (which I don’t think were there as well). Guess by now you know that the three main characters were also a no show at the ZOO (Polar Bear, Panda and Penguin (the emperor kind that is)). They must be relaxing at Shirokuma’s Cafe and taking the day off lol.
Anyway, despite not seeing those animals, I had a really good time at the zoo as I went to just about every single attraction there was at the place and took over 100 photos on the day (the most I’ve ever taken anywhere so far). You can see the full album over at my blog’s facebook album photo gallery. On this blog post I’ll mainly be posting some good shots I took and adding some tidbit of stuff that happened on the day.
The first attraction I went to as soon as I arrived was the aquarium section that contained the seals, little penguins as well as a variety of fishes, sharks and sea life creatures. No polar bears were there even though I think Melbourne ZOO used to have them a few years ago.
About half of the seals appeared to be sunbathing or relaxing when I got to their area (I think there were four) while the other half were just having a swim around their enclosures. When I saw the ones relaxing on the rocks, they appeared to be like they were dead lol but I managed to capture footage of one of them raising its head and then looking almost directly into my camera before going back to sleep or something.
Walking onto the next area, I got to the penguins section which according to the information displayed around their enclosure, they are the world’s smallest penguins. They look pretty cute when they were walking with their flippers flapping on the side haha.
Can’t remember what the next attraction I went to was called but I took some photos too even though many of them didn’t turn out great (thanks to the cages obstructing the views in most of the animals enclosures).
The lions were the next animals I went to see and the photos and video below pretty much sums up what they were doing the majority of the time. Think one of them partied a little too hard and was having a hangover LOL! Though I wish I had a job like them where I can just laze around all day, eat, sleep and nap XD.
They did eventually wake up and I managed to record video of one of them doing a roar or wake up call of some sorts.
Next was the giant hundred year old tortoises. There were only two there and I heard from a few people who were at their enclosure earlier that they were bumping their shells against each other. They were in the middle of a snack and had their backs turned from the onlookers but I got a shot of one of them from the front later in the day.
The reptiles section was next and the place where I took the most photos of.
The above photo is my favourite shot I took on the day and probably the best one I think. despite there being a glass window in front.
I had trouble locating the snake for this next photo since it was well camouflaged with its surrounding environment until someone else nearby spotted it and pointed it out where it was. Can you spot it? 😛
Leaving the reptiles area, the next animals I went to see were the meerkats. I always found it funny how they were constantly digging holes and upon reading some information about them from the info display stands, they do it to search for food but to also look out for dangers.
This particular meerkat below appeared to be separated from the others and looked pretty lonely as there were three enclosures in their area and only one was placed in the third enclosure at the far end.
The first enclosure contained about 4 or 5 and when one meerkat decided to randomly sit on top of another meerkat’s head (who appeared to be sleeping) I had to get a photo of it. (Hilarious!)
And for another hilarious photo, a baboon’s ass (who was proudly putting it on display in front the people as it was sweeping the ground with its hands).
Around this time, there was a show being put on at the elephants trail attraction and when me and my friend got there, the place was pretty packed. I didn’t really get any good photos of them since we only managed to get to the far side on the left of the enclosure for a closer view, and I was still too busy trying to finish off eating my chilli dog and magnum ice-cream to focus much on what the zookeper was saying lol.
The mother of the baby elephant at one point looked straight into the spectators which appeared to be protecting it as it walked around the edges of the mini pool (which its mother attempted to push her baby into it a few times as the crowds gasped :D)
Moving on, the monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas were the next lot I checked out. Again, not much good photos since the majority of the times they had their backs turned or was moving around a lot to get a clear shot. Next animals visited were the emus and kangaroos.
This emu actually walked towards me and my friend as soon as we got to its enclosure, but that probably had to do with the lettuce that was put just in front of the wooden fixture as it started picking away at it when it got there. Probably the most up close view I got of an animal on the day as it was right in front of me with no windows or cages other than a wooden barrier. The lettuce actually fell onto the ground because it was picking on it so much that it was dislodged from its fixture on the barrier lol, I was tempted to pick it up and hold it in front of the emu for it to eat but decided to leave it, though a woman next to me gave the lettuce a kick towards the emu for it to continue its lunch since it decided to walk away when it fell onto the ground.
Also got a lucky shot just as I took the photo as the emu looked right into my camera when I pressed the button.
The kangaroos was just a bit further down from where the emu was. Me and my friend got there just as a zookeeper came out to give them their lunch as well.
A show displaying the Siberian tigers was about to start shortly after we went to the big cats attraction. Again, it was pretty full of people and we managed to get some views of the tigers over the top of the people’s heads in front of us. The zookeeper tried to put on a show with an expectation that two of the tigers there will fight over the one piece of meat another zookeeper had put in their enclosure. We did not expect that one of them would just run towards and the piece of meat so fast and grab it with its mouth (before the other one was even let into the enclosure) as it quickly retreated away from the crowd’s view and enjoyed its lunch LOL! The other tiger did get its own piece of meat backstage though according to the zookeeper.
The next attraction was one I wasn’t keen on visiting initially based on past visits to it. The Butterfly House is usually very humid and makes you feel sweaty as soon as you enter it but on this particular day, it wasn’t humid at all despite it being packed full of people, this made me enjoy the attraction a lot more to be honest. Hundreds of butterflies were literally flying everywhere and a few would occasionally fly right past in front of your face, some would even land on your hair, clothes or hand if you stick them out for awhile. It definitely happened to my friend as two landed on his shoulders and one on the back of his shirt. I wanted to get a photo of the two on his shoulders but one flew away before I could take it. I did get one that landed on my back though and my friend managed to get a photo of that one lol.
It definitely helped that the nice weather on this day gave me some really good shots of the butterflies and the surroundings too.
Final attraction for the day was the Japanese garden. Surprisingly, a wedding function was actually being held there when we got to the place but a sign stated that it would be re-opened about 15 minutes later at the time we arrived. We decided to go over to the meerkats enclosures again before returning.
There’s actually another section to this garden but as there were still people from the wedding function taking photos from their celebrations, I didn’t want to intrude on them and decided it was time to go.
So this day was exhausting after walking around the entire place and seeing all of its attractions but it was definitely a great day to finally revisit the Melbourne ZOO since about 4 years ago. I enjoyed taking many photos of the animals and recorded some video footages below.
I only hope that a return of polar bears and pandas is in the pipes with the managers at the Melbourne ZOO as I would love to see them in person next time I visit.