Waking Up in the Heart of an Australian Zoo

Nov 3, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

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Hanna is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing, Finance, and International Business major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In this week's post, Hanna interacts with animals at Taronga Zoo and stops by to see the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi Beach.

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This week I had an opportunity to experience Sydney’s ultimate sleepover with Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo. Featuring stunning harbour views, a pretty cozy camping accommodation and exclusive up-close encounters with the animals at the zoo, Roar & Snore is considered to be a must-do for locals and visitors alike.

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This event, organized by CAPA, gave us all an opportunity to camp in safari tents in the heart of Australia's most famous zoo. When we woke up, I saw probably one of the most spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

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During our stay there, we had a chance to personally meet a cute local animal – the sugar glider. This creature is a marsupial that lives in Australia and New Guinea. The sugar glider’s scientific name is Petaurus breviceps, which means ‘short-headed rope dancer.’

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Sugar gliders have a membrane that allows them to glide from tree to tree. According to books, they can glide up to 45 meters (150 feet). Being so cute, these creatures are unsurprisingly popular as a pet in the USA, and are permitted in all states other than California, Hawaii, and Alaska. Unlike, in Australia, they can only be kept as pets in in Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

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Another cute thing we got to do was interact with Charlie, an Australian sea lion. Charlie is on a breeding loan from Sea World in Gold Coast as part of an endangered species breeding program. The Australian sea lion is a large sea mammal growing two-and-a-half meters in length and weighing up to 220kg. Its body is streamlined like a torpedo to enable it to glide through the water.

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This species was listed as endangered in 2008 and is currently protected in Australia by numerous conservation agencies and laws. Fisheries are monitored for their impacts on the sea lions and recent conservation initiatives have been focused on education within the industry aimed at reducing bycatch.

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Overall, though very tiring, Roar & Snore was a great experience. It was nice to walk around the zoo free from other patrons. Moreover, it was very pleasing to communicate with zookeepers and observe them taking good care of animals, just like they are their own children.

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They also educated us on all of the projects and programs that are implemented or supported by the Taronga Zoo to raise awareness about animals extinction and encourage people to help and stay more considerate.

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Another fascinating thing to explore in Sydney is the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. This Fall (or Spring here) it returns to the costal walk, the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach one, as the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition. Overall, the sculpture park is 2 km long and lasts for about three weeks. It features 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world. This is the 21st anniversary Bondi exhibition that's been happening from October 19th to November 5th. Sculpture by the Sea has not, in essence, changed since 1997.

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The event carries the same purpose to encourage the appreciation of sculpture as an art form. It is a great event that provides significant educational and cultural benefits for Aussies and tourists. Sculptures by the Sea remain to be free to the public. The popularity and prestige of the exhibition cannot be underestimated. Sculptures by the Sea had about 500 requests for this year's exhibition submitted by artists from 31 countries around the world. It is in fact the largest annual sculpture exhibition in the world.

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So, this has been my week besides catching up with final semester assignments and my internship events. And I cannot believe the semester and the program are coming to an end. Sydney is such an amazing city and I don’t want to think of leaving it yet. Especially now when it is getting warmer and sunnier, I just want to spend my days walking around the coasts, beaches, gardens, and exploring the beautiful Australian landscapes.

Thanks Hanna!

Hanna's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Sydney Program

Topics: Sydney, Australia, Goals Abroad, Activities Abroad