Nov 19, 2015

our Auckland- the Zoo

Auckland Zoo is incredible. There is a huge commitment to the animals that live there and the zoo is completely child- centred. Luka did not have a birthday party this year for a couple of reasons (mean boys in his class being the main one) so we gave him a Zoo Experience instead.
There are number of different experiences and he chose the Red Panda one. Then the Red Panda fell pregnant (how inconsiderate being endangered and all, ha!) so Luka chose the Reptile (tortoise) experience instead.  I think mainly due to the fact that a tortoise moves slowly and would be unlikely to corner/ bite him!

We arrived early and of course the Zoo had an activity going for the kids- the Zookeeper challenge, we loved it!
His cousin joined him for the trip- the 3 amigos!
 There is so much to see at Auckland Zoo and there is constant upgrading going on. It gets better and better. There is a new elephant, although she was very shy.
 Not sure if the kids were allowed on the elephant statue but it was kid size so I imagine it was....*fingers crossed*
We pottered around until it was time for the Reptile experience. It was my birthday so Luka chose me as the mandatory adult who needed to accompany him. I was thrilled at the chance to be with him, less thrilled about the reptile tortoise. Luckily I had no idea there were multiple reptiles to experience, I thought there was just Smiley the 248kg Galapagos tortoise.
We met Smiley in his temporary enclosure. His new rather beautiful enclosure was still under construction. Smiley is very very large and very very heavy. He is a slow mover though so you have time to get out of the way. There is no opting out of experiencing the experience so I got to feed Smiley a carrot too.
We thought the experience was over but there was more. Again super glad I had no idea what was coming. I well and truly sucked in my fear of all things snake-like when we entered the enclosure and met the leg-less lizard. Luka was terrified but was ok as long as I held it together. We clutched each other a fair bit though. We were encouraged strongly to touch it. Now I can say I have touched a snake-like being (yay). It wasn't as bad as I thought.
But wait there was more. At this stage I was over it BUT the third reptile was a Tuatara. That was pretty amazing, I rather like Tuataras.
Our guide was amazing and when we were finished the experience got the admin staff to page "Michael and Auntie Nikkey please meet at the rain forrest" on the loudspeakers across the whole zoo. I nearly died laughing. Luka mentioned he wanted to see spiders so the guide took us all back house to see the tarantulas. This is next door to the room where they breed flies, crickets and worms to feed the animals. The smell was intense and Auntie Nikkey nearly passed out- I could not stop laughing at her. It was not Auntie Nikkey's day, being yelled at over the loud speakers and then smelling flies and worms.

The verdict? The Auckland Zoo is FABULOUS! And the experiences are wonderful too, even if one involves a leg-less lizard. Go, you won't regret it!

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