Day 19 – Kangas, originally uploaded by bexadler.

I don’t know when I became such a fan of zoos. For the most part I have always despised zoos, but in the last two months I have visited three (in Hawaii, Utah, and now Australia). Each of these zoos were great experiences, with each one improving on the things that I had loved about the last. Thus far, the Taronga Zoo in Sydney has been my favorite.

First, you take a ferry out from Sydney to get there and get a beautiful view of the Sydney Harbor once you reach the highest point in the zoo.

Second, the Taronga Zoo had really interesting exhibits that used ravines to divide the people from the animals rather than using cages and nets (although there were still some animals in nets or with the plexiglass walls, like the big cats and many of the birds). The lack of barriers made it easier to get good photos of the animals. In addition, there were two awesome “animal encounter” exhibits that allowed visitors to walk among the animals. The above picture was taken in one such exhibit.

Lastly, and definitely the most particular to myself, there were three baby elephants at this zoo. As many of you know, I have a weird love for these giant creatures and the babies just melt my heart. The elephant exhibit was definitely worth seeing. There were two large pool areas where the elephants could play and enjoy splashing about. We were lucky enough to see the three calves pushing each other into the water and wrestling in the pool for a good five or ten minutes. It made me wish I had a better camera so I could have zoomed in on them. There were also a couple of baby cockatoos and supposedly there was a baby rhino (the first to be born using IVF), but we couldn’t find the exhibit. Other highlights for me included a platypus, seals, a Kodiak bear, Tasmanian devils, and koalas.

The price of $45 to get into the zoo was a bit hefty for my taste, but I thought it was well worth the expense.