Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia
I had been to Sydney many times in the past, but never went to visit the Taronga Zoo until July 2010, when the opportunity arouse. It was a Friday and it was cold that day and our choice was to visit the Blue Mountains, which are 100 km West of the city, or the Sydney Zoo and I am glad we opted for the latter! Just a few days before we had met somebody who lived in Katoomba and he told us that sometimes there is frost on the ground, as it is at 1000 meters, so we decided to leave the mountains until our next visit.
So we went looking for a travel agent and bought two tickets for the Zoo Express, which included not only the entry to the zoo, but also Sky Safari, which was a cable car and a return cruise from Darling Harbour on a ferry. The ferry left every 45 minutes, so we then went to Pier 26 and soon boarded one, which included commentaries along the way. The ferry went past the Sydney Story Bridge, Circular Quay, the Opera House and after about 15 minutes we finally arrived in the zoo, which was up on a cliff, almost hidden away from view. From the ferry wharf we took the cable car up to the main gate, which allowed us to get a view of the zoo from above.
Taronga is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It first opened in 1916 and is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. It is on 21 hectares of land and is divided into eight geographic regions and is home to over 2,600 animals of 340 different species.
When we visited we found that some of the exhibits were undergoing a facelift, so there was much construction work being carried out, which should provide a better zoo experience for visitors in the future, which might include us when we return next year!
There was much greenery around and I was pleased to see that they had used natural products, like wood and bamboo for making their fences. There were also many wooden park benches, wooden bridges and wooden picnic tables all around too. Animals appeared to be happy and well looked after.
We not only saw native Australian animals, like kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles and emu, but also birds, elephants, giraffe, goats, monkeys, dolphins and orangutans. We were able to see the elephant show and it was cute, as the two baby elephants were performing too! Taronga's Asian Elephant calves are getting stronger and recently Luk Chai, Australia's first elephant calf, celebrated its 1st Birthday on the 4th July!
After having lived in Tasmania for one year, I was quite shocked to see the effects that the Devil Facial Tumour Disease is having on Tasmanian Devils and the good work being done by the zoo.Taronga Zoo is involved in helping save the Tasmanian Devil, as it is an endangered species.
Highways are a reason for the rapid demise of the Tasmanian Devil as they help to spread the contagious cancer, which has already wiped out 60% of the endemic Tasmanian population. Without conservation action the world’s largest living marsupial carnivore may become extinct within 25 years. Animals killed on the road provide regular opportunities for devils to eat in groups, spreading the contagious cancer as they bite and instinctively fight over food. Devils die within 12 months of contracting the cancer.
While there is no cure yet, the Taronga Zoo has joined with 13 other wildlife agencies to breed 1,500 disease free devils to form an insurance population. Two joeys, which were born last year to the conservation breeding program, have settled well to their new environment.