Imagine going on a nighttime tour of Sydney's Taronga Zoo and spending the night there, then waking up and feeding giraffes their breakfast. On CAPA Sydney programs, a sleepover at the zoo is one of the included program activities! Check out what Minh has to say about his Roar & Snore experience:
Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed my adventure in New Zealand for the last few weeks. If you haven’t checked that out already, click here to see Part 1 of the story. For this week, I want to share with you guys my overnight trip to the Taronga Zoo. Let’s get started!
Taronga Zoo, what is it?
Taronga Zoo is a zoo with a history. The zoo was founded in 1884 in Moore Park aka. the middle of downtown Sydney. Envisioned to be a bar-less zoo, Moore Park turned out to be too small for that type of experience. Taronga Zoo got moved to the other side of the river in 1914 as the land over there was incredibly cheap as the Sydney Harbour Bridge had not been built yet. Fast forward until now, ‘Zoo with a view’ nickname is given to Taronga Zoo for its wonderful view to Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. In fact, Taronga means beautiful view in the Aboriginal language.
Sydney from Taronga at night.
Our First Round Around Taronga
We took a ferry to the zoo at noon and it took about half an hour across the river. After we settled down in our tents, the tour started. We got to see all the greatest animals in Australia and of the world. Take a look!
Cute koala sleeping on a tree.
Koala is a really special species that is on decay in its population. Koala only eats eucalyptus which poses a very high toxicity level for humans and other species. This eating habit creates their unique schedule too as Koala sleeps anywhere between 18 and 22 hours a day. Its sleeping habit aims to conserve as much energy as possible since its special diet costs a lot of energy and time to digest. Unfortunately, Koalas are very picky about what they eat and it is not so good in terms of surviving in the wild.
A family of elephants in the sun.
This family of elephants was once work elephants in Thailand. They were later brought over to Taronga zoo to be conserved and raised. At that moment, the parents were feeding their little baby elephant. How cute is that!
Beautiful Sumatran tiger!
Sumatran tiger is a prime example of the butterfly effect of climate change in nature. Apart from hunting itself, the decline in the Sumatran tiger population strongly ties to the unsustainable production of palm oil. The deforestation of palm oil slowly kills tiger’s habitats and drives them to the edge of extinction.
The Night Tour (ft. Python)
That night marks the first time I ever touch a python. I have seen pythons before as my dad used to take me to circuses a lot when I was a child. Up until now, I never imagined I would be able to touch one. If you are afraid of pythons, do not worry because they are really friendly if handled correctly.
We went out for a walk after that to see some other night animals. The highlight of that walk was those clumsy penguins that always trip themselves when they walk!
Giraffe Feeding and Exploring the Zoo
After a long night, we wake up early in the morning to get on to our most special experience in the morning, the giraffe feeding! Along the way, I took some photos so that you can see why Taronga zoo is the zoo with a view.
Sunrise in Taronga.
There is another cute animal that I really want to share with you guys. The meerkats! They might look cute but don’t underestimate these little creatures. They are capable of killing a cobra!
I also found the most beautiful peacock I have ever seen.
A peacock opens its tail.
And roos chilling under the sun
Roo chilling under the sun.
That’s about it for the zoo visit. I have had a good time and I hope you did too. Stay put for my blogs to see more of Sydney!
Minh Ta is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing his story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Computer Science and Applied Math major at Augustana College, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
Minh's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.