Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

I love me a good zoo! And the one in Sydney is better than just good.

Taronga is famous not just for its wide variety of animals but for the amazing views of the city that it affords.

Set high in the hills across the harbour (yea, they spell it with a u) cable cars take you to the top so that you can walk through the zoo downhill, which is wayyy better than walking it uphill, clearly, plus the cable cars are AWESOME:

That’s the view. Hi Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background! I love you!

In addition to the cable cars, lots of other things excited me, namely this:

Elephant calves!!! *Squeal*

There was also red pandas and pygmy hippos and giraffes!

And then this:

It’s a real-live original bear pit that’s no longer in use. (I obviously crawled inside.) (Why do things like this fascinate me?!) I know, it looks really harsh and awful, but there’s all these signs that explain how and why it’s not.

And that’s the thing about zoos…as much as I love them, I feel guilty and sad and hate them when I see animals confined in cages. But it’s important to remember that there’s an educational purpose behind zoos, as well as rescue operations that they lead.

Case in point: Tasmanian Devils. (On a side note, everyone here in Australia shortens Taryn to Taz which I freaking loove because it makes me think of these little munchkins). I recently learned that they’re on the verge of extinction because of a rare, contagious face cancer that’s ravaging the population.

The tumors are spread from one devil to another when they fight over food (another more interesting side note: transmissible cancer is incredibly rare and only occurs in 3 animals in the world: hamsters, dogs and these guys). I’ll spare you a picture in this post, but I dare you to google Devil Facial Tumor Disease and not cry. 

Anyways, breeding in captivity, spearheaded by zoos and other wildlife organizations, could potentially save the population of devils, which experts surmise would be extinct by 2035 without these efforts. So I love zoos again! 

Anddd, a picture would be awesome right now but the devils were sleeping when I got there, so I have no pictures. Here’s one courtesy of google:

What I would give to be that guy in the Tyvek suit.

Another lesson learned from the zoo: lots of animals sleep during the day, which is annoying because the zoo is only open from 9 to 5.

Then I start fantasizing about being locked in the zoo after closing, like Night at the Musuem except at the zoo. Other people do this right? They’re probably seven years old but whatever.

And on that note, I’m gonna go ahead and end this with a random giraffe picture:

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