The Perth Zoo

Perth Travel Blog

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Meg and Jade present... (please note that these 'Survival Tips' should not be used in the real Australian outback. For Reals).

Through a weekly Pub Quiz, I've gotten to know a lovely couple from England, one who whom works at in the ED of a local hospital with a couple of my best friends. As they'd never been before, we (my partner and I) suggested that a day trip to the Perth Zoo was in order.

Now the Perth Zoo (opened 1898) is one of those places that everyone thinks was cool, but a bit of a naff place to be visiting. You went there on school excursions for human biology to see how similar humans are to various primates. The last time I went, a bird pooped on my school hat and my friend Stak and I created a very unoriginal song about Gibbons and their monetary value (to the tune of 'We're off to see the Wizard').

Galapagos Tortoise Exhibit
What I wasn't expecting (now that I have reached adulthood) was to have an amazingly good time. Im sure it had a lot to do with the company, but moreso, Perth Zoo has become a world class venue. Having been to the Sydney Taronga Zoo (the one that is touted as THE zoo to be visiting whem in Aus), I can safely say that comparatively the Perth Zoo is better laid out in terms of exhibits, less crowded and has better landscaping (as far as Australian Zoos go).

It seems that in the 8 or 9 years since I've been, the P.Zoo has had rather large changes made with the upgrading of a number of exhibits (most notably the orangutan, Asian elephant and much of the African Savannah). The Bird enclosure is the one they're currently working on.

The preservation of the Heritage of Perth Zoo is also visible.

Radiated Tortoise Smackdown
The Famous Carousel is perhaps the most obvious in this respect, though there is a section not too far from the 'Australian Outback' section where the original animal enclosures have been left for viewing. It's kind of horrifying to see how small and cave-like they were, and how miserable animals in the not-so-distant past would have been, housed in such tiny enclsures.

 Built in 1947, the Carousel is located next to one of the Function Centres and the Zoo Cafe near the Central Park area. It's lovely too.. one of those old style ones. It was built by some British fellow who only built carousels. Anyway, if it's a slow day, the Carousel operator will let adults ride on it (even though technically we're too big and heavy to be sitting on it!). So we did. And it was wonderful.

The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
:D

Personally, my favourite exhibit has always been the Galapagos Tortoises. The enclosure has always been otherworldly, with only a rickety wooden fence separating yourself from Mr. Tortoise. On this trip, however, the Radiated Tortoises surpassed the Galapagos ones. The Radiated Tortoise enclosure has 5 living in it and I never realised quite how much fun they are. Tortoise Tipping seems to be the activity du jour. One gets flipped, panics, flails around pathetically until another tortoise flips him back over again. Flipped Tortoise #1 is now out for revenge, flips the original flipper who then panics, flails around pathetically until, it too is reflipped over by another. Flipped Tortoise #2 is now feeling inadequate so to reestablish his authority, goes to flip over a Tortoise #3 who until this time has been an innocent bystander.

The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
. et cetera..

We called it a Tortoise Smackdown.

...and may have watched them for a good 20 minutes.

Bets may have been taken.

 

Anyway, the Perth Zoo is pretty darn nifty. There are plenty of exhibits and if you take your time it's a good full day trip. the only disappointment for my friend Jade and myself is that when we went to the Cassowary enclosure, we couldn't find the Cassowary. As this seems to be a recurring event//joke between us (originating from a rather drunken archaeological expedition to the Devil's Lair Early Dating Occupation Site in WA's South West (ca. 48,000 years B.P)) we found it somewhat apt. If not frustrating. Damn those Cassowary.

So yeah. As far as things to do in Perth go.. I rather like this one. The landscaping make it that even if you go in the blazing heat of summer, you're still rather cool (many of the walkways are surrounded by very very high and dense foliage). So perhaps it's a nice place to go for those of us who are not accustomed or acclimatised to these rather horrid 40+ degree Celcius summer days we've been having... Just sayin'. :)

 

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Meg and Jade present... 
(please …
Meg and Jade present... (please…
Galapagos Tortoise Exhibit
Galapagos Tortoise Exhibit
Radiated Tortoise Smackdown
Radiated Tortoise Smackdown
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
The Perth Zoo Heritage Carousel
A Galapagos Tortoise
A Galapagos Tortoise
Asian Elephant Enclosure
Asian Elephant Enclosure
in the south-east asia region
in the 'south-east asia' region
kitty.. :)
kitty.. :)
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photo by: cimtech