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Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Simon Hampel, 28 Nov 2003.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Managed to get about an hour at the Wellington Zoo (Wellington, New Zealand) today before we needed to head to the airport to catch our flight home.

    I wasn't sure I was going to go, since it was windy and raining, and very very cold when I first got up, but by the time I was ready to leave, it had stopped raining. Maximum temperature was about 8 degrees I think/

    It's a small zoo, built on the side of a hill (in some places steeper than Taronga Zoo !!), but I was quite impressed with what they had done with the place. Being hilly also meant that I had no trouble keeping warm from the exertion :D

    In particular, the viewing platforms were great - in quite a few places you could get up high and look over the fence at the animals - which is always better than looking through a fence in my opinion.

    The giraffes were especially good, they had tied some branches up near the viewing platform, so you were able to get really close to the giraffes while they were eating. Other great viewing areas include the Chimpanzees, the lions and tigers. I wish more zoos would do this kind of thing.

    The Chimpanzees were really good, a two level viewing platform provided an excellent view, and you were actually quite close to them. It was a very cold, and two of them were huddled close together. Some of the younger Chimps were running around having fun, and there was a very young baby lying in the grass screaming for mum (who eventually gave in and came to pick him up and feed him) - all within about 5m from where I was able to stand.

    I was able to get really close to the Hunting Dogs, and to the Cheetahs, with the latter being right up at the fence no more than 2 feet from where I was standing. I think they were all waiting to be fed, although having four hungry hunting dogs watching your every move was a little disconcerting.

    I was able to get up close and personal with a very inquisitive ostrich, had an interesting conversation with a psychologically distrurbed camel who had incredibly bad breath, stared down a pair of lionesses, enjoyed a brief patch of sunshine with a meerkat, and chatted casually to the otters.

    I'll post some pictures and write some more when I get a chance.

    Overall, despite being a small zoo, I could happily have spent most of the day there since you were able to get so close to the animals and watch them play.
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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  3. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Wellington , New Zealand
    Glad to see that Cairo ( the worlds most confused camel ) is still in his usual state and likes to greet visitors . I hope he didnt proudly produce his dulaah for you -- that really is a disgusting preformance !
    Having said that , Cairo is well liked by staff and public alike . He is my favourite animal at the zoo , and seems to remember something about me , whether he recognises me by sound , smell , sight ( I am not sure )
    He is loving the sand in his enclosure ( it used to be earth ) and will soon have company -- an old female camel from Hamilton zoo will be transferred sometime this year . Hopefully she can teach him the difference between camel and human behaviour .
    Please check out Jays website -- Wellington zoo part . You will see photos of Wellington zoo that I took for the website ( Save him flying her to get some pics ... )
     
  4. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Hey , great photo of Cairo !! It looks like he was about to proudly display his dulaah after all ! ( dont feel too bad about this -- he does it to most people)
    He is one camel that you wont forget for a long while .
    Your other photos are also excellent .
    This zoo is finally starting to become a decent zoo -- it was an embarrassing disgrace of a zoo several years back , but now its getting better .
    They seem to have major success in breeding chimpanzees -- theres lots of them there !
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, Cairo did the full show for me at first, but I followed the instructions and talked gently to him, calling him by name and he calmed down. We had a good chat in the end. Me talking about his zoo, him breathing bad camel breath over me - what a conversation !
     
  6. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Update on one of Wellington zoos inhabitants

    Sim , I am sure you will always remember that totally confused camel that showed you his duulah , and had disgusting bad breath .....
    Despite his strange habits , he was my favourite animal , as he seemed to take an interest in people ... he had a "character " all to himself .....
    Unfortunately , the other week the zoo had to put him to sleep permanently -- apparently he had very bad arthritis in his knees and was not responding well to treatment .
    I have a feeling that Wellington zoo wont be getting another camel , as it didnt quite fit into their long term choice of animal displays......and it takes one of each sex for breeding purposes ( Cairo probably wouldnt have figured out how to mate , even if he had a suitable female camel -- he was that confused !)
     
  7. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    That's sad about Cairo - he certainly added a lot of "character" to Wellington Zoo