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ellie1145

Come sail with me on a virtual cruise on Majestic Princess to Fiji!

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Pelicans...

 

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We leave the delightful wallabies behind and walk through the park where we see a large group of pelicans. These gregarious birds live in colonies, and here we see a flock of them, in a watery setting. 

 

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They have such extraordinary beaks, they almost look as if they will topple over, they look so unbalanced. But of course, their beaks are perfect for scooping up their food, especially when combined with their huge pouches.

 

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The Cassowary - the world's most dangerous bird!

 

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The cassowary gets a bad press... and rightly so. This formidable bird can inflict serious, and sometimes even fatal, injuries on both animals and humans. 

 

It's their feet that are the problem as they have three toes, one of which has a dagger like claw on it, which can be up to 5 inches (125mm) in length. That is what causes the problem, as they use this claw when attacking. 

 

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Cassowaries are actually quite shy and solitary, but they can run fast (50km/hr 30mph) and jump up to 5 ft (1.5m) as well as being good swimmers. 

 

Interestingly, it is the males which incubate the eggs.

 

We decide to keep our distance......

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Koalas

 

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Way back in time, over 50 years ago, on my first cruise on Chandris' Australis, the ship used to transport Brits who were emigrating to Australia over the winter period, before resuming Mediterranean cruises in the summer.

 

In the shop onboard (and there was only one tiny shop!) they sold lots of items from Australia, including toy koala bears, and slippers lined with kangaroo fur.

 

Of course, I couldn't resist buying a koala, so today I'm very excited to actually meet a real one.

 

At Featherdale you can see lots of koalas, and you can also pay to hold one and have your photo taken, but I'm happy just to watch them through the glass . 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

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Koalas seem to do only two things, sleep and eat. They not only live in eucalyptus trees, but they eat the leaves, too.

 

 

It’s no wonder they sleep so much as eucalyptus leaves are actually toxic, so their digestive system has to work really hard to digest them and break down the toxins. They actually get very few nutrients from their food so they lack energy. They may sleep for between 18 and 22 hours.....funny that, some people seem able to do the same.....teenagers, for example...

 

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Because they need to eat so many leaves to survive, koalas need a lot of space, up to 100 trees per animal. With the recent  devastating bush fires which have shrunk their available habitat, their very survival is threatened.

 

They are also becoming infected with, and dying from, chlamydia, and as they don’t seem to mind where or on who they pee, it is probably wise not to pick them up!

 

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Koalas are not really bears, they are actually marsupials, whose babies grow and develop in their mother’s pouch for about six months.

 

But I have to admit they do look really cuddly.

 

Edited by ellie1145

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We say goodbye to the koalas and pass some more wallabies being hand fed by visitors.

 

You can buy special food for them. They appear to be completely at ease with all the people watching them, and interacting with them. They will even hold your hand! Magic!

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Time for a quick nap, in you hop!

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Posted (edited)

Echidna feeding time!

 

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It’s feeding time at the echidna habitat so we stand and watch.

 

These animals are sometimes called spiny anteaters, and they live on termites and ants which they collect using their long, sticky tongues.

 

They are curious creatures as, although they are mammals, they actually lay tiny eggs, just 1.5cm or a little over half an inch, which they deposit in their pouch to incubate them.

 

Baby echidna are called ‘puggles’ and they live in their mother’s pouch for between 45 and 55 days. At this point the baby acquires spines and thankfully they then leave the pouch - could be quite painful otherwise! They suck milk from pores inside the pouch.

 

Now here’s a piece of useless information.... the echidna has the second lowest active body temperature of all mammals, at 33 degrees.  Only the Australian platypus has a lower active body temperature - sounds like a good Trivia question to me! 

 

Edited by ellie1145

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The zoo keepers put tubes containing their meal inside the enclosure. This means that they have to use their sticky tongues to reach them.

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Posted (edited)

Blue Penguins or Little Penguins

Consider the penguin

He's smart as can be

Dressed in his dinner clothes,

Permanently.

You never can tell

When you see him about

If he's just coming in

Or just going out!

 

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Don't you just love penguins? What's not to like?

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Well, our  next stop is the penguin enclosure, where we see the Little Penguins, sometimes known as Blue Penguins or Fairy Penguins. They are the smallest penguin species, and when fully grown they are a a dark blue colour with a white chest.

 

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They are happy to live in the warmer climate of Sydney.

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Here at Featherdale they have the largest breeding colony in Sydney.

 

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They are so cute!

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Edited by ellie1145

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Next we will see the dingo encounter.. 

 

But I'm afraid you will have to wait as I really must go and do some housework or my poor DH will think he has married a bit of a slob....

 

So I must go and get my hoover out.....Dude, looks like a lady......

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Posted (edited)

Dingoes - is it a dog? is it a wolf?

 

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I think that my first experience of dingoes was in the film, 'A Cry in the Dark' about Azaria Chamberlain, the 2 month old baby who was supposedly taken and killed by a dingo, on a family camping trip to Uluru in 1980. Lindy Chamberlain was played by Meryl Streep.

 

Lindy Chamberlain, Azaria's mother, was eventually found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. She served 3 years before being released, when an item of the baby's clothing was unexpectedly discovered near to dingo lairs. In 1986, an English tourist was climbing at Uluru when he fell to his death. The search for his remains resulted in the chance discovery of Azaria's missing matinee coat, near dingo lairs.

 

Lindy was released, but it took four inquests before, in 2012, a coroner found that the baby had been taken and killed by a dingo.

 

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There has been much debate as to whether dingoes are dogs or related to wolves. The earliest dingo fossil dates back 3,400 years. They were domesticated by indigenous Australians but in the wild they rarely live more than 3-5 years. They rarely bark but do howl.

 

They are capable of eating quite large mammals such as red kangaroos, but their diet is varied and can include birds, reptiles, fish, crabs, frogs, insects or even seeds.

 

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We decide to watch the feeding of the dingoes and line up at the wire fenced enclosure. They are beautiful creatures, and they are fascinating to watch.

 

 

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The keepers bring out big plastic dustbins with meat inside and the dingoes play with them, biting the plastic, getting inside, and vying with each other.

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They are very playful, but you can see their powerful jaws, so they are not creatures to mess with.

 

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Edited by ellie1145

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Those dingos look scary

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Did you enjoy the animals?

 

Well, there's still a bit more to come as we visit the reptiles in the Reptile Pavilion.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Those dingos look scary

 

Indeed, I wouldn't like to meet them on a dark night.......😲

 

Glad to see you are still around, was beginning to think I was talking to myself! 🤣

Edited by ellie1145

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The Reptile Pavilion

 

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We walk past a huge crocodile, and enter the reptile pavilion. 

 

Now I have to say I'm not a huge fan of reptiles, and the mere thought of a tarantula will have me running for the hills. But I have to admit that the reptiles were fascinating.

 

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Tie me kangaroo down sport,

Tie me kangaroo down......

 

We enjoy the reptile house and make our way to see the kangaroos.

 

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They are in a large enclosure and you can walk around close to them. 
 

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Posted (edited)

A Bird in the Hand 

Is Worth Two in the Bush...

 

Now for some birds....

 

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An emu

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Don't get too close!

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Australian White Ibis

These birds wander about the park, you can see them everywhere.

It's head is bald

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Such beautiful colouring on this cassowary, but look at those feet!

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Black Necked Stork.

These are the only breed of stork found in Australia (maybe why the population of Australia is so small? 😉)

They have beautiful iridescent feathers on their head, tail and back.

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Edited by ellie1145

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Time for a cup of tea!

 

Well, I don't know about all you cruising adventurers, but I could do with a cup of tea and a sit down, so let's find our way to the little cafe and have a bit of a break.

 

We pass a few of our favourite animals on the way.

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DH and I find a seat and DH goes and orders a muffin to share and a cup of tea. Bliss!

 

We've had a wonderful afternoon wandering round the wildlife park. It's been amazing getting so close to these fantastic Australian animals and birds. 

 

Hope you enjoyed it, too.

 

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Hi Ellie,

 

I finally caught up! I was so enjoying your wonderful photos and description in the Blue Mountains that I didn't realize I had missed the Cable car!  The Blue Mountains is definitely  a return again spot.

 

So glad we are past those scary reptiles! When in Australia, I recall seeing the  biggest spider I have ever seen. The rest of the Wildlife Park was much  more up my alley.

 

Gail

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cnd crsr said:

Hi Ellie,

 

I finally caught up! I was so enjoying your wonderful photos and description in the Blue Mountains that I didn't realize I had missed the Cable car!  The Blue Mountains is definitely  a return again spot.

 

So glad we are past those scary reptiles! When in Australia, I recall seeing the  biggest spider I have ever seen. The rest of the Wildlife Park was much  more up my alley.

 

Gail


Well thank goodness we saw you weren’t with us and Kat went back and collected you!

🤣

 

Glad you didn’t miss the cable car!

 

Edited by ellie1145

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Great pictures, although scary close ups of the reptiles! Eek! I love this virtual trip so looking forward to the cruise ( always my favourite). 

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Thank you for the pictures my friend. I honestly felt like being in a zoo. My son saw me looking through your pic and called my wife to see them altogether. We like gathered at the monitor. Very nice pics indeed. My wife and family as whole say a very big thanks to you! Keep posting such wonderful photos in the future! 

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