21 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 4 - Part 2

Tuesday, 12 March


Three fennecs being extremely inactive in the middle of the day.

Sumatran Tiger. Moments after this picture was taken, a chunk of horsemeat was thrown in for lunch.

Chameleon. It took quite a while to get both one eye looking at the camera, let alone both!
Spot the animal.
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are one of my favourite animals. I think they look cool. On my first walk past the exhibit (after taking the sea lion picture), I couldn't see any sign of life in the enclosure. On my second walk by, I took the above picture. Can you find the animal?

Zoomed and cropped.
There it is! Snoozing in the shade in the pen behind the main enclosure.

I walked past a seemingly empty enclosure on the way to the meerkats, then doubled back since there wasn't any "closed for maintenance" signage like some other exhibits. My patience was rewarded when this little guy appeared and posed for a couple photos.

Dwarf mongoose.
Lunch time for meerkats.
There were at least three meerkats in this enclosure, but the others had disappeared when I came back with my camera. After the meerkats, it was nearly time for the penguins' daily feed, so I continued on to that part of the zoo.

Penguins searching.
There were just over a dozen little penguins in the water, swimming in a slow circle in the middle of the pool. Every once in a while a couple would stick their heads above the surface, and make little sounds similar to ducks. Then a couple would dive slowly, never going too far before resuming their place in the slow-moving circle.

It looked exactly like one of them had lost a contact lens on the bottom of the pool, and the others were helping to look for it.

Then they smelled the fish, as the keeper came in with a bucket. Those little guys were keen, gulping the little fish down whole.

These two flamingos are older than my parents.
From the sign at the Adelaide Zoo:

Our beautiful flamingos are growing very old. 
The oldest animals in the Zoo, the Greater Flamingo arrived in Australia in 1933 and the Chilean in 1948. Although every care is taken, we know they cannot live forever. 
For the benefit of wild bird populations, the importation of birds is now tightly controlled. It is most unlikely that we will be able to replace these wonderful, but ageing, birds.

I've seen old elephants and tortoises before, but it was kind of strange to think of a bird that was born in my grandparents' generation.

Highly active koala.
The koala had moved to a different tree since I'd been past earlier in the day, but it was still perched where it could take advantage of the misting sprays set up at the top of the enclosure.

Anyone for a coffee?
Adelaide Zoo is home to the only Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere, and I still hadn't been to that part of the zoo. I'd been saving it for last. I got there about 3 o'clock, to find empty enclosures and a sign saying that the pandas were "off exhibit" from 2:30 to 3:30. So I did another loop of the Australian animals and monkeys.

At 3:30, when I returned to the bamboo forest themed Panda section, one of the zoo's two pandas, Wang Wang, was out in his enclosure eating some food.

Panda sculptures in the Bamboo Forest.

Having seen pretty much every animal that wanted to be seen, I called it a day and headed back to the city.

Many years ago, when I was a uni student, and then later when I was teaching in Japan, I was often online on the message boards and forums on the website of Christian rock band Third Day. I made quite a few friends through conversations in those forums, and on messenger/skype. In fact, I married one.

One of those friends, who up until this point neither Kara nor I had met in person, was +Hayden Coonan. (That was me testing a relatively new-ish thing here on Blogger, the ability to tag someone with a Google profile. See: +Glenn Davies. Back to my story about Adelaide.)

So, Hayden and I have technically known each other for years, through various forums and forms of social media. He's now married with two kids, so that kind of shows how much time has passed. He and his family live in Adelaide, so after my trip to the zoo, I met up with Hayden in town after he finished work, and then we went back to Casa di Coonan for dinner.

As they live a ways south out of Adelaide itself, this involved driving on the city's South Expressway (see picture above). It has three lanes, all of which run in the same direction. It is a one-way highway. You can drive northbound in the mornings, but in the afternoons and evenings it only goes southbound. They are now working on constructing a duplicate beside it, so that it can become a two-way highway.

It seemed strange to me that it wasn't just built as a four-lane (two lanes each way) highway in the first place. Government logic at its finest.

Dinner involved two and a bit trips to Woolies. On our way out to the car Hayden remembered eggs, and ducked back. On the way to pick up his son from daycare, he remembered the sour cream. Don't you hate when that happens?

Spot the sun-burned tourist!
After a nice dinner and catch up with the Coonans, it was time to catch a bus back to Adelaide.

I successfully caught a bus back to Adelaide, and not only was able to navigate my way back to my hostel, but I also found the Coopers Alehouse, which Hayden had told me was further down the same street. I've filled this post with photos, and it's late, so more on that later!

Late-night reading - with doughnuts.

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