Billabong Sanctuary: An Australian Wildlife Experience

posted in: Queensland

One of my favourite stops on our trip so far was the Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville.  It’s a unique zoo experience, full of Aussie animals with scheduled talks and hands-on sessions throughout the day.  When we arrived we headed straight for the cassowaries where the ranger talk had already started.  There are two cassowaries and we were lucky to be able to feed them grapes! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Cassowaries are the third largest bird in the world, behind the ostrich and emu.  They are flightless.  It’s estimated that there are only 1000 or so left in the wild.  They caution people not to feed wild cassowaries as it causes them to become aggressive, and they can be quite vicious. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Who me?  Vicious?  No idea what you’re talking about. DSC_3804 Right.  Can you imagine those feet coming at you?  We read that middle toe has quite the claw. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? I must confess that before we visited Queensland, I had no idea there were cassowaries in Australia.  They live on a very small part of the Queensland coast.  Their appearance is so striking, I was enamoured. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? See the black bin over there?  It was full of fruit.  Cassowaries love fruit, we read they will even eat a banana whole.  They are considered a ‘keystone species’ because there are many rainforest plants that will only germinate once the seed has passed through the cassowary’s gut. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Cassowary eggs are a gorgeous green colour!  Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Then it was time for the turtle feeding.  The turtles knew just what was happening and clamboured over each other in the hopes of some tasty fish pieces.  They were a bit clumsy and we had to wait patiently while they tried multiple times to grasp the fish in their mouths.  Too often the turtle would try so, so hard and then the food would end up in the water or snatched by another hungry turtle.  Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? They assured us that turtles don’t have teeth.  I was thankful for that information at the next turtle feeding session that afternoon when TurboBug ended up with his thumb in a turtle’s mouth! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Just hold it still…I know I can get it. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? This is more turtles than I’d ever seen in one place in my life.  They were so cute!  Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? On the way in to the sanctuary we had purchased our bags of seeds to feed the roos.  We were all enchanted by this one with the joey hanging out of her pouch.  Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? This one made sure that hand full of seed wasn’t going anywhere until she was done! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Look at the pouch from behind!  (Are you saying I look fat?  That is all baby weight, honey!) Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Dude.  ‘Sup?  Got any more food?  (Or maybe that should be G’day mate.  Any more tucker?) Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? This is a magpie goose.  I’d never seen one before.  They are huge.  We’d feed the ducks right out of our hands and these guys would come over for some.  Um, no thanks.  You might take a finger! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Speaking of feeding the ducks!  I love this picture.  They were quite ticklish. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? So we all had turns! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Watch out for that goose!  He wouldn’t harm a Magpies fan, would he? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? So ticklish, but the kids kept going back for more! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? TurboBug was a pro at it by the end of the day! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? These frilled neck lizards were happily enjoying their patch of sunlight.  Look how long their tails are! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Our next stop was the wombat talk.  Way too many pictures for one post!  More to come.

4 Responses

  1. […] but he didn’t show up in my pictures.  The kids were excited to see turtles after our recent turtle feeding experience. Later in our walk I found this sign that talked about how turtles can absorb oxygen through […]

  2. […] TWO!  Day one is here, here, and here.  This is the last one, I promise! So….we liked our day at the Billabong […]

  3. […] part one and part two.  I wish I could remember the details about this (stuffed? preserved?) […]

  4. […] cassowaries, they are so gorgeous with their bright blues and reds.  We were happily reminded of feeding the cassowaries at the Billabong Sanctuary in […]

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