Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Healesville Sanctuary

Trying to pack as much as possible into a couple of weeks we load our Visitor into the car and head a one hour drive to the Beautiful Yarra Valley.

Zoos Victoria comprises of Melbourne Zoo in Parkville,
Werribee Open Range Zoo
and Healesville Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is where you go if you want to see  Australian Native Animals in a Bush setting.

Greeting us at the entrance is the beautiful sculpture of BUNJIL - The Creator Spirit with his 7 meter wingspan.

The Wurundjeri believe Bunjil keeps a watchful eye over their people and offers guidance to those who listen.

From there we hurried past Sleepy Koalas with the promise of catching up with them again before we leave.

There was somewhere we had to be before 11:00
"Ornithorhynchus anatinus" - The Platypus is one of Australia's most Iconic animals.

Once considered to be a Hoax as it was thought impossible for such a creature to exist.

We sat in the Amphitheatre and watched the Keepers play with a young Female Platypus who was born during the Black Friday Bushfire while we listened to the environmental talk that informed us as to how to look after the waterways that these wonderful creatures call home.

After the formal talk we held back (letting the crowd leave first) and were rewarded with a personal chat with the keeper as she continued to acclimatise the Platypus to her surroundings.
It is possible to get into the Pool with the Keeper with the "Wade with the Platypus" experience - but at $182.00 per person and having to book well in advance it requires a lot of planning!

Another of the free Keeper Talk sessions, The "Spirits of the Sky" Bird show was next on our list.

The undisputed Monarch of the Skies is the Australian Wedge Tail Eagle - Our largest Raptor with a wingspan of 2.5 meters.  They can be seen riding the thermals up to 2 km high while hunting.

These magnificent birds although not a threatened species are Protected.

Wandering through the Sanctuary we then came to The Avery.

While our guests happily fed the Red Tail Black Cockatoos I took the opportunity to photograph some of our more colourful Birds - The Rainbow Lorikeet.

I am happy to see these small birds reclaiming suburban backyards as more people plant Australian Natives in their gardens.
They like to nest in hollows of Old Trees.

There was certainly plenty of things to see - We even watched, (through a glass wall in the Cafe) a small group of Children feed the Echidnas while we were having our lunch!

Echidnas, together with the Platypus are the world's only Monotremes - or Egg laying Mammals.

After a quick lunch DS#2 had organised a couple of "Wildlife Encounters" for us to enjoy.

A personal Keeper talk and a chance to meet Brother and Sister Alpine Dingoes.

The Dingo is neither a Dog or a Wolf  but a species in their own right.  These two are Beautiful animals - but don't be fooled - They ARE Wild animals who were fighting each other at my feet moments before taking this photo.

Our Last encounter before heading home was with the friendly Kangaroos from South Australia's Kangaroo Island.

It was the perfect finish for a big day out.

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