One of my greatest joys when I travel to Sydney is the tradition of grabbing my babes (& niece & nephew) & heading off to one of the best locations in the city, Taronga Park Zoo, since a child, with mum & dad packing the 5 kid's and the sandwiches in the station-wagon, on a rare day when my father didn't work & my mother had a reprieve from the home zoo, we would pile in, then pile out, at without a doubt still one of my favourite places in the world on the cusp of Sydney Harbour, catch a ferry from the city, a bus or car, I hope one day experience the overnight 'roar & snore' when the nocturnals awake and the zoo celebrates the night life with the beautiful exotic beasts of the world.
The animals here inspired countless children to stop & ponder, experience & learn, inspired many artists, given great joy to tourists & first hand contact with animals we may never have the money or opportunity to see in their real habitat, the graceful beauty of a diving seal, viewing the curious & playful nature of the chimps, feeding the giraffes, cradling a koala, the other creatures we share our space with, I have seen cages turn into open spaces here, importing captured animals until they grew old, turn into endangered species breeding programs resulting the releasing the offspring into natural habitats. I have cringed when visiting some zoos overseas, seeing the conditions animals are kept, I felt like weeping at the condition of some of these beasts reduced to a caged oddity... but here, now, we can celebrate the beauty and diversity of our 4 legged, winged, aquatic & all other neighbours, learn off them and redress some of the damage humans have done in reducing their numbers.
After our big day at the zoo as munchkins we always came home to our turtle living in the bathtub, greyhound Marcus with 3 legs, rabbit, fish, 2 mice, Sandy the Australian smooth haired terrier, 2 budgies and the family was tired but happy, and went to work, feeding, petting and telling the less exotic but well loved extension of our family about our Zoo friends...
Oh yeah, now I guess you know what inspired this instalment of my new 'Imaginary Friends' adventures ;) Catch ya soon dudes, nice chatting, my dog appreciates the break!