Billabong Sanctuary, part 2

posted in: Queensland

Part one is here! We were so happily feeding the roos and ducks that we missed the wombat talk.  We got there just at the end, just in time to get to give one a pat.  This is Tonka.  He was rescued from his mother’s pouch and has grown up at the Billabong Sanctuary.  Tonka loves to greet his adoring public each day.  (The woman holding Tonka was a volunteer, she told me she was doing an internship for her studies.  She had no idea how many photos she’d end up in that day!) Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? In fact, Tonka loves his cuddles so much that when the park closed for ten weeks after Cyclone Yasi hit in 2011 he became depressed.  He lost weight and moped around.  They were seriously worried about his health and had all kinds of tests done.  Once the park opened he bounced back and gained weight.  He had missed his pats and cuddles from his adoring fans. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? There were a couple of gorgeous cockatoos nearby that also loved to be fed. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? I had never seen a black cockatoo before!  Look at that gorgeous red spot on his tail! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? We dubbed him a Bombers bird since he was sporting the team colours.  That’s JitterBug’s team, and he happily reminded his siblings. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? This bird knew his seed.  We’d hold up a handful and he would carefully pick out the sunflower seeds and crack them open in his mouth, dropping the shells. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Next it was time for the koala talk.  After our visit to the Koala Hospital we were well versed with our koala information.  We did learn something new…a koala’s brain is only the size of a pea or a grape (we can’t remember which).  Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Everyone was able to pat the (sleeping) koala. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Then my kids were eaten by a crocodile.  Every last one of them. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Check out the goose coming in for a landing on the croc’s back! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? They all seem to be excited about the croc eating their siblings! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? The youngest had a turn too.  Finally we could move on. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Wait, just one  more! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? We stopped for yet another photo on our way out to the car for the lunch we’d brought. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? After lunch we made our way to the reptile talk.  It was fascinating.  A ranger was inside a caged area with a snake slithering around.  The enclosure had some glass panels for closer viewing.  We learned that the only accurate way to tell a snake species is by their scale pattern.  Not just colour, but actually counting the scales.  He told several stories of misidentification because snakes can vary so much.  Given that Australia has the most venomous snakes in the world, it’s better to assume any snake you see is venomous and stay away from it.  It’s not like you’re going to stop and count the scales to figure out what kind of snake it is when it’s coming at you!  Of course, a talk like this wouldn’t be complete without the chance to hold a snake.  A non-venomous snake, that is. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? There were other reptiles to hold, too!  This is a shingleback lizard. Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes?Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Ah, here’s his good side! Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Billabong Sanctuary | How Many More Minutes? Then the most exciting one…a baby crocodile!  After the reptile talk most people headed straight for the croc so there was quite a line.  We visited the others first, saving this guy for last. 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? The croc was surprisingly soft underneath.  I hadn’t expected that.  Still more to come!

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