Booking in advance one takes a chance on the weather at this time of year, in that it could turn out to be an awful cold and miserable day.
But we struck it lucky last Wednesday, it being a particularly mild winter’s day with ample sunshine. Perfect for a visit to Melbourne Zoo, where I have not been for over 20 years or so.
Though public admittance was restricted due to the covid19 pandemic to 2500 people, there were quite a few persons in attendance mostly parents with children. I hate to think how many bodies would have been there on a normal day, so am thankful that numbers were limited as it was easy to snap unencumbered photos of the exhibits.
Upon arrival we headed off to the right, hoping it would lead us to the big cats who according to map were over there somewhere.
On the way we came across the comical meerkats, wonderfully photogenic beasts.
From there it was onward to the giant tortoise, a peculiar sculpture indicating it was nearby.
We passed the Japanese garden…
…then headed back towards the centre pathway and came across the beautiful old 19th century carousel, which was not operating, due to covid restrictions no doubt…
On the way to the snow leopards we passed the pelicans and penguins…
…and eventually came to the Snow Leopard enclosure.
Mother leopard was sunning herself high up on the other side of the enclosure and the cubs were hidden, though when we returned a bit later one cub was visible, unfortunately slightly obscured by mother leopard’s leg.
The Coatis and Tasmanian Devils were not visible, so we moved on to the lions, of which there were two males, gnawing on a snack of bones.
Close to the lions were the African wild dogs.
Moving on, the peccaries and tapir were nowhere in sight, but we soon came to the giraffes and zebras and baboons.
Walking back down the left side of the zoo, we ambled through the great flight aviary where a variety of water birds were on display.
The cassowary was in an enclosure by itself. Strange to see one up close and note how like a dinosaur it is.
Next up was the elephants and the tiger.
We’d been at the zoo for over three hours by this time so there were only a few more sections to visit – the monkeys and primates.
Unfortunately the gorillas were too far away to get good shots and my monkey photos were not a success except for this spider monkey.
The zoo charmers turned out to be the Lemurs who seemed almost tame, unenclosed, and sitting on perches close to the public walkway.
We were somewhat footsore by the end, but it had been an interesting outing and we even ran into an old acquaintance in Arch, who has been a zookeeper at Melbourne Zoo since 1988. Keeping to the regulatory social distancing we reminisced about old times when we were part of a social group that gathered at the Dan O’Connell Hotel in Carlton back in the 1970s and ‘80s.
And it was a pleasant change to take photos of beasts other than race horses.