Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting Close to Nature

At Featherdale Wildlife Park kangaroos and wallabies hop around freely so you can feed them (but also have sanctuaries where people aren’t allowed to go). This albino wallaby and her joey were in a protected area though.

The koalas are in open stalls, and there is usually at least one outside on a branch that you can touch and get a picture with (without having to pay extra like some zoos here make you do).

Many birds, like ibises, geese and this pheasant, are able to roam wherever they like in the park.

They let emus walk around too, which is a little scary, especially when you’re carrying kangaroo food because they’re just as hungry, but twice as tall. At least they keep the cassowaries, like this one, mostly enclosed. These guys have the body of an emu or ostrich, the neck of a turkey and a horn like a rhino. They freak me out.

They have some brilliant looking birds. This one reminds me of a villain glaring from behind his cape. I think he just had an itch though. Do birds get itchy?

This bird was my favorite because we made a personal connection. I realized if I bounced up and down or side to side, the cockatoo would imitate me. If I raised my arms, he’d flap his wings. He also knew how to say hello and bye-bye. He was my buddy.

And if you weren’t convinced already that Featherdale is worth the 50-minute train ride from the city, there are penguins.

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