When my human, Hsin-Yi’s BFF, Susie, came to stay with us recently from overseas, it was the first time she had ever been to Australia. So of course, we had to take her to go meet some native Aussies!
There is a lovely place called the Caversham Wildlife Park just outside Perth which my humans had been wanting to check out as well – so they thought this was a great excuse to go altogether.
Sadly, doggies are not allowed in the park ‘coz it would make the animals stressy – so I couldn’t go. Anyway, I’m sort of glad I didn’t ‘coz can you see what Hsin-Yi was wearing?? Her Giant Embarrassing Hat that she got in Taiwan last year!!
Like lots of Chinese humans, Hsin-Yi is paranoid about getting sunshine on her skin so she’s always trying to find ways to cover up…but seriously, that hat is awful. (I will show you more pictures of it another time – from other angles. *shudder*)
Me & Paul walk very far from Hsin-Yi and pretend we don’t know her when she goes out on our walks with us wearing that hat!!!
Well, as soon as my humans walked into the park, they met the most famous critter from Australia: the kangaroo!
The kangaroos in the park were SO tame – they just lay around snoozing or hopped around, completely unbothered by all the humans walking around them – and you could even feed them some special kangaroo pellets too from a bucket provided.
There were some beautiful white ones. My humans thought at first that they were “albinos” but then a park keeper told them that no, these were specially bred white kangaroos – somebody had just decided one day to breed some white ones for fun.
But now they always have to stay in the park because the white gene is actually a “dominant gene” – this means that if a white kangaroo mates with any other colour kangaroo, the babies will always be white – and so this is dangerous because they could turn all the natural populations of kangaroos into white very quickly!
And of course, white is not a very practical colour in the wild (well, unless you’re in Antarctica! ) and so they would not survive – for example, they would get skin cancer really quickly from the pink skin on their ears and nose and stuff.
They were really beautiful to look at though – especially the joeys (babies)!
They were scratching-scratching-scratching all the time though. Gosh, my humans said they never realised kanagroos were such itchy creatures! Even the baby joeys who hopped out of their mummy’s pouches would be scratching-scratching-scratching! My humans asked the keepers if they had fleas or something but they said no, this was just what normal kangaroos do!
Well, after the kangaroos, my humans wandered around the park meeting all the different critters from around Australia – including some really weird & wonderful ones!
Do you know – we never realised Dingos howl? My goodness, what a racket they make! Here’s a little movie that Hsin-Yi took of them howling…as you can see at the end of the movie, I wasn’t very impressed! Hee! hee!
If the movie doesn’t play, try here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVcdHV5hJYM
The park had a special place where you could get “up close & personal” with the koalas – you could even pet them! (very gently, on their backs only) My humans were told to be very careful not to touch the eucalyptus leaves, though, coz otherwise you get your yucky human oils from your fingers onto the leaves and the koalas think that’s stinky and then they won’t eat the leaves!
To be honest, my humans found the koalas a bit boring. They looked cute but they just didn’t do anything! They just sat hunched over in the branches, looking very sleepy The keepers said this is because they eat a very poisonous food (eucalyptus leaves) – and that’s all they eat – and so they have to keep all their energy to do the “de-toxing” – plus it’s not really very nutritious so they don’t get a lot of energy out of the leaves. What a dumb thing to eat then, don’t you think? But Hsin-Yi says evolution doesn’t always plan everything properly!
Well, the highlight of the day for my humans was actually meeting the Wombats!
Everybody always says that wombats are really grumpy creatures and you have to be very careful and they can get mean and nasty…but oh, they always look so adorable – like big, cuddly pig-bears!
Well, the wombats that my humans met at the park were lovely and friendly. There was one called Eddie who was the star of one of the shows and everybody could go up to have a picture with him. You could even pat him very gently – although only on his back legs.
Eddie was so placid and cuddly – he almost didn’t look like a real wombat! Don’t you think he looks like a giant stuffie? There are several different types of wombats – Eddie is a Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
Like all Aussie mammals, wombats are ‘marsupials’ which means that they carry their babies in a pouch on their tummy. They are also ‘nocturnal’ which means they mostly sleep in the day and come out at night – they’re quite shy and not really sociable – in fact, can you believe that when the European Settler Humans first came to Australia, they didn’t even notice that wombats were around for 10 years?!
Wombats look so cute & cuddly and lots of people wish they could keep them as pets – especially when they’re babies! – but they make awful pets coz as they get older, they get less & less friendly, quite grumpy and even dangerous! And they’re awfully strong and can destroy everything – tear their way through doors, fences & doors.
My humans had heard a lot about the grumpy reputation of wombats so they were really surprised when the wombats they met at the park were so lovely and friendly! It was probably because these wombats had been socialised with humans from babies and had some special humans that they trusted as their friends…the best one was a wombat called Neil who started playing with his keeper while my humans were visiting his enclosure. Hsin-Yi made a little movie to show you…all that backing up & spinning around is apparently “wombat play”…my humans loved him and thought he was adorable
If the movie doesn’t play, try here:
If you want to find out more about wombats, check out this great site here: www.wombania.com/wombats
Well, I hope you enjoyed going along with my humans on their visit to the wildlife park and meeting some Aussie critters. So which one was your favourite?
Oh – and although I didn’t get to go along to the park, I did have a wildlife encounter of my own recently…with a New Orleans lobster!!
It was actually a stuffie toy sent by my friend, Grendel the Black Dane who lives in Florida. Isn’t it so nice of him?
Well, it’s actually a weird stuffie coz it has no stuffing in it! It’s supposed to be specially made for doggies who might eat the stuffing inside and end up at the emergency vets…pretty good idea, huh?
I do like to pull out the stuffing on my stuffies although I never eat it. I just spit it out all over the room and make a big mess – hee! hee!
Grendel’s human, Melanie, went to New Orleans on holiday and got this toy for me when she was there (she got one for Grendel too) – isn’t that so sweet of her? And Melanie has been AMAZING and helping Hsin-Yi LOTS with her book – sending her encouraging emails and reading each chapter and discussing plot & characters…and just being the most awesome friend! We don’t think our book would ever have been written if it wasn’t for Melanie!
Big Honey Dog book update:
Speaking of the book…Hsin-Yi is writing the last chapter!!!! She hopes to finish it by the end of this weekend. Then she’ll start revising it and then sending it out to some beta readers…
Oh! And we might have some very exciting plans for my book…so stay tuned!