When my mum & little brother visited last weekend, my inner child had the perfect excuse to visit the Melbourne Zoo. I hadn’t visited since I was seven years old, when I visited Melbourne with my grandparents, but I remembered how much I loved seeing bears, Pygmy hippopotamus, monkeys and my favourite animal, the snow leopard. This time around, my favourites were the monkeys and the elephants.
I always worry a little about how animals in captivity are treated, but I know that the animals at Melbourne Zoo are treated well. They have huge enclosures, which of course can’t be as big as they are in the wild, but give them enough space to hide from view if they want to – like the snow leopard and gorillas did. The gorillas were shy because they are expecting their first baby soon, so I’m keen to visit the zoo in the second half of the year to see an adorable baby gorilla!
The monkeys won my heart as usual, but the mandrills were the most surprising. I couldn’t believe how colourful they were – their faces are so regal, but their behinds are even more surprising! I’ve never seen animals with those colours before, their bottoms are fairy floss pink, light blue and purple. It literally looks like someone has spray painted them.
We saw seals, fish and fairy penguins ( the tiniest in the world!) in the zoo’s arctic section and walked through the lemur enclosure – would have been pretty amazing had they been awake. I think they look totally gorgeous when they all curl their tails around each other to form a giant ball when they sleep.
We didn’t make it through the entire zoo, despite being there for nearly four hours. The zoo is enormous, so if you bought the yearly pass you’d easily get your money’s worth. Children are free on weekends, and adults are $30 per person – pretty reasonable, when you consider a movie ticket is $20. I had an amazing day, and would love to go back later this year. I was really impressed by the quality of the exhibits and how relaxed and happy the animals looked.
My family visited London Zoo in 2012, and they said they found it really depressing because of the enclosures that the animals were in. I’d just left for Paris when they went, but when I saw the photos I knew exactly what they meant. I’m so glad the Melbourne Zoo seems to be able to keep the animals happy, while still providing an amazing experience for guests.