Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Nope, not Swimming for Bubbles & Spanky.

Swimming for Maggie & Bonnie!

We take them up to a Dog 'Country Club' about 30minutes drive from home, near Diggers Rest on the Calder Fwy.

They have so much fun swimming and chasing balls. By the end of half an hour they are both very tired. After swimming, we take them out to a grass run and they dry off and play for a bit. Once home, they sleep all afternoon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Healesville Sanctuary Visit

On the weekend we had an invite from The Zookeeper (Bubbles’ sister) to come visit her at Healesville Sanctuary, where she works. She had Saturday off, and wanted to show us around. We took Patrice (My brother) and Lady L (his girlfriend) with us.
What an AMAZING day we had!!

We set off from home at around 930 and arrived at Healesville just before 1030 and meet The Zookeeper at the gate.

Our first stop was at the Platypus area. The Zookeeper works here and is the Sanctuary’s Platypus Keeper. We where taken around the back behind the main exhibit into the tank/work room. Both Bubbles & I have seen & touched the Platypus before, but this was a first for Patrice & Lady L, but what was a first for all of us was to be able to put waders on and join the Zookeeper in one of the tanks!
Getting into waders

We each hopped in, one at a time, and spent about 10minutes with the Zookeeper in a tank with Yani, a 1yr old female Platypus. Yani has been brought up to play with The Zookeeper in her tank. This is so that she is used to human interaction and will play with humans. She was very energetic and seemed to enjoy playing with us. It helped that we feed her while we where playing with her (worms etc) and she loves getting her tummy scratched, and we all happily obliged!

We then went to feed the turtles & eels that are looked after by the Zookeeper. I was able to feed one of the eels, which the Zookeeper was both happy and not happy with. Happy because it came for feeding from the clamp, but unhappy because she hadn’t been able to get it to do that.
We went to the midday Sprits of the Sky, in the Flight arena. It was very cool to have the birds flying low over our head. After the presentation, The Zookeeper took us to say hello to the keepers who do the show, so we got a up close look at some of the birds.
Some of the birds from the show

After the show, we did a mad dash over to the restaurant for lunch, which was so very yummy and made from local produce.
We stopped off to check out the Koala talk after lunch and meet with the keeper there who Bubbles & I have meet before as she and The Zookeeper are good friends. She told us to meet with her at 3pm for a special visit.

Next up was the reptile talk and a meet with the keepers following the talk. Bubbles got to hold a couple of the lizards, while a large Goanna crawled around our shoes.

The snake getting up close & personal with The Zookeeper

Bubbles holding a lizard

Hello Goanna!
After a stop off to collect some Sweet potoato, we where taken to the Wallaby section so The Zookeeper could go find her ‘baby’, a young wallaby who she hand raised. We where able to pat the wallaby, but didn’t stay too long as there where other Sanctuary visiters around who wanted to do what we where doing (even though they wheren't ment to).

Moving on, we toured more the backstage area, checking out where all the Tasmanian Devils are kept (there is over 60 in backstage enclosures, with plans for about another 50. This is a ‘clean’ population that doesn’t have the face cancer).

We also where lucky enough to be shown a Pygmy possum.

After walking around all the backstage area, it was 3pm, so we headed off to visit Amy for a special visit with a young Koala that she is raising. We had a chat, had a pat and some photos. This koala is being hand raised so that it can be used as part of the Magic Moments that the Sanctuary is doing where visiters can pay to get special time with some of the animals. A Platypus session is planning to be introduced sometime this year where you get in the water with The Zookeeper & Yani. Just like we did (we did it as part of trialling to see how it would work).

Lady L having a pat

Me having a pat

Patrice having a pat

On the way out, we checked out the playful Dingos. We learnt that Victoria is the only state that recognised Dingos as an indigenous animal and protects them.

It was a very tiring day, but we got to do so much. We all where very thankful for the time all the keepers spent with us, chatting about the animals they look after, letting us get up close to touch them and take lots of photos. And we where especially thankful for The Zookeeper for taking us on the tour of the whole of the Sanctuary and backstage and for letting us be guinepigs for her Platypus experience!!