Saturday, May 9, 2009

Snotty Kiwis at Wellington Zoo

It has been a bit of a tough week in Wellie this week as we have had our first bout of colds and snotty noses New Zealand style and the Autumn/Winter weather has really begun. We have had lots of heavy rain and high winds which has meant we can't get out much and it has been a bit grim stuck in an almost empty house.
Dd2 has been getting her back teeth through and they have been keeping her up at night and both myself and Dh have caught a heavy head cold. No its not swine flue although we have thoroughly checked the symptoms online just to make sure!
The weather improved slightly on Sunday although there was still a cold southerly wind. So we decided to have a stroll around Wellington Zoo. Its located near the centre of Wellington City and is quite compact but is still a brilliant day out.

DD2 and a Terrapin.

It was cold so chips and hot chocolate were a necessity.

The Chimpanzees had a commanding view over Wellington city and appeared to be watching a rugby match going on in the stadium next door.

Giraffes, obviously!

DD2 and some wild dogs from Australia.

You could get some really good views of the animals.

DD2 meets the lizards and the lizards meet DD2.

DD1 and the baby chimpanzee. He was only six months younger than DD2 and we noticed lots of similarities in behaviour!

The highlight of the day was meeting a real "live" Kiwi. They are nocturnal animals and unfortunately rather rare now in New Zealand and so you are unlikely to see one in the wild. They are the most fascinating and bizarre creatures I have ever seen. You can easily see why they are unlikely to have survived or evolved anywhere else other than New Zealand as they have no defences against any mammals and would be easily wiped out if not protected.

They have a nocturnal house in the zoo where you can see Kiwis in there natural night time habitat but they also give people an opportunity to meet a one legged kiwi called Tahi (which means "One" in Maori). He used to live wild in the forests near Auckland but was caught in a Possum trap and lost his leg. The man who set the trap found Tahi and took him to a vet who amputated his leg and he ended up at Wellington Zoo. They made him a prosthetic leg (in the hope this would help him to breed as he couldn't get his balance right) which he used for a while but he prefers to hop around on one leg.

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