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You don’t need their long necks to see the fabulous view from Taronga Zoo

 

From the tiny Corroboree frog to the 3000 kg Asian elephant, if there’s an animal in danger, chances are it’s a zoo that is trying to save them.

Once the nasty ‘jailers’ of the animal kingdom, confining huge species in tiny cages for our viewing pleasure, zoos have become key players in the conservation of wildlife.

Taronga Zoo on Sydney’s north shore is a perfect example of this.

Known as the zoo with a view because of its stunning vista of Sydney Harbour, Taronga was named after the Aboriginal word for ‘beautiful view’.

 

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A bird’s eye view of Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo

The zoo, officially opened in 1916, has spent more than $500,000 since 2008 on funds and staff expertise to conservation programs around the world.

Western Australia’s now endangered black cockatoos, the forests of Madagascar, gorillas in Cameroon, bears in Asia and African wild dogs – all have benefitted from the zoo’s partnerships with other conservation organisations.

The zoo’s breeding program includes the critically endangered Corroboree frog (there are less than 120 left in the wild), the Tasmanian Devil, little penguins, black rhinos, Asian elephants, snow leopards and Sumatran tigers.

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They may not be the prettiest creatures but the Tasmanian Devil, like everything else, has an important role to play in ecology.

Taronga actually runs two zoos – the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo where the animals have ample room to roam, and the Sydney zoo.

Taronga cares for around 4000 animals from 350 species – many of them threatened.

A DAY AT THE ZOO

We had the pleasure of seeing them recently when we took the four-year-old Goddess.

The trip involved travelling by train from the mountains to Central, then another train to Circular Quay followed by a ferry across the harbour to the zoo.

 

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Sometimes the journey is every bit as fun as the destination. This is our ferry ride on Sydney Harbour to the zoo.

 

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This is one place where the back door entrance is the most glamorous.

 

On arrival, we hopped on a cable car that took us to the top entrance from where we meandered back down towards the harbour.

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A little morning drizzle didn’t dampen the fun.

 

A lot of the larger animals now live at Dubbo but we saw giraffes (a favourite with the Goddess) and elephants.

The reptile enclosure was fascinating and the Lemur Forest Adventure, where you are right inside the enclosure with the animals,  a big hit.

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So many beautiful colours on the residents of the reptile enclosure.

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This little guy was especially cute.

 

We stopped for the seal show and an enchanting enactment of the life of a seal, demonstrating the dangers of fishing nets.

 

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The seal show.

The bird show was also education and spellbinding as cockatoos and owls flew centimetres above our heads.

The zoo now offers a Sky Safari where you can walk on fun tracks above the zoo, enjoying the wonders of the stunning view. The Goddess will have to wait until she’s eight for that adventure. However, she did enjoy the kids trail and the rainforest trail, as well as the many fun statues to climb on.

 

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The Goddess loved climbing all over the animal sculptures dotted all over the zoo.

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The safe way to ride an elephant.

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You can be anything you want at the zoo.

Throughout the day the conservation message was clear and that has opened the door for us to reinforce the message to the Goddesses.

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The conservation message is clear, everywhere you look. This work of art uses plastic bottle lids.

Check out Taronga’s For The Wild message here.

Happy outings and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.