January 10, 2014

Shooting at Auckland Zoo

Did I getcha? Sorry – trying out a catchy title!

Anyway, I just had a great day at Auckland Zoo playing babysitter and photo blogger at the same time (yes I’m ambidextrous).

I hadn’t been in years and was most impressed in between Auckland thunderstorms and a blindingly hot afternoon.

We fed the giraffe, held a tuatara, watched the alligators and otters being fed and fell in love with the one-week old baby baboon.

Here’s our day out at Auckland Zoo…

Zabulu giraffe Auckland zoo

Zabulu the king of the giraffe/zebra/ostrich/springbok enclosure waits patiently with his zookeeper for feeding time

Auckland giraffe Zabulu

My little charge James feeds a carrot to Zabulu. Check out the tongue!

Auckland zoo rhinoceros

Fortunately this rhino turned around and stopped his spraying for this pic. He could be Zambezi or one of his two sons Inkosi and Mtoto.

Auckland Zoo baboon baby

We fell in love with this week-old baboon whose mother kept him close by dragging him around by the tail. He’s very active!

Auckland Zoo baboons

This baboon kid gets to pick the nits out of his mother’s back. Mmmmm.

Ring tailed lemur Auckland zoo

“You whistled?” A great technique for getting an animal to look at you for a photo.

Auckland Zoo Galapagos

This is Smiley, the Galapagos turtle. He’s 40 years old and is loving having his back scratched by his keeper.

Auckland zoo Galapagos

An upside-down smile more like!

Auckland Zoo alligator feeding

Feeding time in the alligator fortress. Look how many zookeepers are involved to feed this lively lot.

Auckland Zoo alligator

Mmmm chicken carcass, as she slithers back into her river…

Auckland zoo otter

This cute little otter stands up to beg for lunch

Auckland Zoo meercats

And so does the meerkat but he’s on the look out. And yes, the meerkat domes for kids to peek through are still here!

Auckland zoo monkeys

One of the 16 spider monkeys that leap through the trees in the Rainforest. With very little fencing I don’t know how they don’t jump out!

Auckland zoo Te Wao Nui

The entrance to Te Wao Nui, the new New Zealand section with 6 habitats: coast, islands, wetlands, night time, forest and high country. Pic by James Stephens

Auckland Zoo tuatara

Kate and James Stephens get a behind the scenes experience with Tipua the tuatara

Auckland Zoo tuatara

Tipua was bred here to join the educational program. Her species is overbred, so she won’t breed herself. Instead she happily sits in the arms of adoring visitors who get to feel her lace-like skin and teeny fingernails

Auckland Zoo penguins

These little blue penguins take shelter under a row boat in their habitat

Auckland Zoo kea

This is probably New Zealand’s cheekiest bird. The kea loves to rip wind screen wipers off cars and will take off with your stuff if you don’t watch out!

Auckland zoo kidzone

James and Kate still have energy to burn after 5 hours of walking the zoo! And when your feet have had enough but the kids are still on fire, the Kidzone is a great respite. It’s full of domestic pets (including pigs and chickens) too

These are just a selection of my best pics, but there’s still Burma the elephant (who was indoors having some work done on her feet), lions, tigers, hippos (who stayed under water so were a bit hard to photograph), the hilarious orangutan hiding under their sheets and sacks, kiwi, bats and morepork furrowing around in their dark habitat and that’s not mention the spooky tarantulas and a few more besides.

We spent 5 hours here, had lunch in one of the cafes and ran out of stamina to see it all.

If I were you, I’d plan to spend the whole day at Auckland Zoo!

Click here for the Auckland Zoo website>>>

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A big thanks to Kate from Auckland Zoo for providing our visitor passes and arranging the behind the scenes encounter with Tipua!

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About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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