Last weekend, we went for our second visit to Melbourne Zoo.  The first visit took place in January (yep, no update on that coz we forgot to charge the camera! Sangat pandai…).  Well, during the first visit, we signed up for a year membership and with that, we are entitled to visit any zoos in Victoria as frequently as we want.   The membership fee costs us $162.00.  More info on Zoos Victoria website: http://www.zoo.org.au/members.  I think it is worthy because we can take our time going about, without having to rush like a cyclone to cover the entire ground on a single day because you know you can always come back next time free of charge.  Well, the feeling is similar to holding a monthly Myki pass which eliminates the factor of how frequent we can travel in a month.  The key question is: how do we make the most out of it? For now, we will just take one step at a time: finish covering Melbourne Zoo and then moving on to Werribee Zoo in a month or so.  Aim small, miss small – so said Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”.

This membership card has to be presented with a photo ID at the counter.

The member card has to be presented with a photo ID at the counter.

So, what was the highlight of this visit?  A reminder to self: It took place on March 3rd, 2013.  I know that I was eager to see the elephants.  Iris was expecting the Meerkat family after she saw “Meerkat Manor” on TV.  Here’s a glimpse of the iconic family.  That meerkat at the “highest point” responded really well to the fact that he is the center of attention.  Hehehe.

The children were drawn to the meerkats.

The children were drawn to the meerkats.  It’s a family in the exhibit.  I assume the one standing on the pole (in the far right image) is the leader of the pack. Their diet? Worms.

At the entrance of the aquatic “region’ where the seal and penguins are located, there is a huge fish tank which houses a couple of flat rays and another species of harmless shark.  The visitors get to touch the flat ray – I chose not to because I don’t fancy sticking my hand into the water at the presence of a creature larger than my face!   My daughter was more than happy to stroke the fish, and she said, “it is rough like sandpaper”.  My my, this girl has a lot of guts!

First hand encounter with the flat ray(s). Again, kids and adults are crazy about them.

First hand encounter with the flat ray(s). Again, kids and adults are crazy about them.

Next on the list was the seal.  They looked so graceful underwater!  I started to suspect that the shape of underwater torpedo were taken after them!  The massive tank that holds them is brilliantly engineered to create waves to simulate the ocean.  In so doing, the life of the seals are not as mundane and predictable like still water (minus the crocs of course!).  I could see that the cheerful seals were enjoying the “turbulent” very much.

The graceful seals. They move like torpedo, don't they?

The graceful seals. They move like torpedo, don’t they?

Ahhh….. Let’s not forget the carousel that my daughter adores so much, that she wanted to get on it again and again and again… The charges per ride is $3.00 per child and only only one adult can accompany them.  The horse can hold the weight of an adult, so parents can enjoy the ride as much as their kids.  How long is the ride?  Slightly under 3 minutes.  Iris went on twice that day.

The carousel, where both kids and parents can be kids.

The carousel, where both kids and parents can be kids.

After following the elephant’s trail where signage are posted in Malay language, we finally got to see the mammoth family.  In September 2012 when we first arrived, the city was celebrating the birth of a baby elephant.  Probably that is him/her in the picture.  The crowd were excited almost akin to cheering upon seeing the elephant family running about the compound.  Although they seemed happy, I do feel sorry because they are confined in limited space – but that is probably better than having them exposed to the poachers in their natural habitat, no?

The girl and the elephant.

The girl and the elephant.

We also saw a couple of gorillas that looked extremely bored in their man made environment.   The visitors, on the other hand were extremely excited seeing them.  It was indeed a reverse situation.  Nothing we (the visitors) did could wipe away that gloomy look on his face!  Maybe he was thinking, “try staying here for 8 years and see if you like it?”  We saw orang utan as well, but I didn’t put them here because my first encounter of orang utan should have been in Kuching and not in Melbourne.  What an irony…  I was partly frustrated as I had plans to visit Semenggoh Wildlife Center (the orang utan sanctuary in wild) but the plan was never materialize.  More details on Semenggoh Wildlife Center: http://www.sarawakforestry.com/htm/snp-nr-semenggoh.html

Iris and Gorilla. Imagine "Iris and King Kong"... Heheh.

Iris and Gorilla. Imagine “Iris and King Kong”… Heheh.  See the bored fellow over there? Or maybe it was just the hot weather..

After a long walk under the hot sun, we decided to rest next to this gentleman’s “territory”. I wonder how old is the tortoise?  OK, I can sense an abrupt end to this entry… Sorilah, I’ll improve the flow some other time.

At "home" with the giant tortoise.

At “home” with the giant tortoise.

That’s all from me today.  It is already past midnight and I have set a reading target for myself tonight.  Better get on to that task before I regret it.

Until the next entry, bye peeps!

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