Wednesday, March 02, 2011
"Bon-a-rong" - Aboriginal meaning "Native Companion"
Arguably, the Bonorong Wildlife Centre is one of the best places
in Tasmania to see different kinds of wildlife native to the area.
It's not a zoo, but a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife
that unfortunately will not be able to go back to the wild.
One thing I really wanted to see while we are in Tasmania is a
Tasmanian Devil. Yes, I'm an American, and I grew up watching
the Looney Tunes version of the Tasmanian Devil. I'm happy to
report that the "real" devil isn't much like the cartoon version. Yes,
it can be ferocious, but it doesn't spin in circles. It does however,
pace very rapidly and has really strong jaws. Unfortunately, more
and more devils in the wild suffer from Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
According to our guide, this disease will wipe out virtually all of the
devils in the wild in the next 20 years. They are hoping to be able to
repopulate the wild with devils from facilities like Bonorong, where
they are disease free.
this fellow is a Wombat. He was very cuddly and cute, but when
he gets older and reaches puberty...not so much. He'll get very
aggressive and even fight his mother if he has to
We've seen Koalas in zoos before, but never this close up. They are
simply fascinating! they actually sleep 80% of the time and when they
aren't sleeping, they're eating Eucalyptus leaves. As cute as they are,
our guide told us "There isn't much going on behind those eyes",
meaning that they just aren't that bright! We were able to pet him
and when you removed your hand, it smelled like Eucalyptus. It
seeped through his pores and fur.
This guy seemed to be wondering why Lynn was petting his back!
This is a Kookaburra, and it has a sad story. He had owners in the
outside world and was kept indoors. The owners tried to clip his wings
so he wouldn't fly. Unfortunately, they cut too much of his wings, so
now he'll never fly again. How sad! He can't defend himself from
predators because he can't fly away. Fortunately there is a happy
ending. There is a lady Kookaburra from the wild that comes to visit
him at night, and she doesn't care that he doesn't fly!
I waited for over ten minutes for this little guy to come out of his hiding
place so that I could see him and take his picture. He's a Echnida,
and although he's a mammal, he lays eggs! He eats ants and
termites that he catches with his sticky tongue.
Hundreds of Forester Kangaroos live at Bonorong. Most of them
are very friendly and tame. They'll even eat out of your hand.
We were told the best place to pet them is right under the chin
in the neck area.
Lynn spent quite a bit of time with this friendly little bird.
He even tried to eat her camera!