Wednesday 29 June 2016

Bunbury Wildlife Park

Polly want a cracker?

Today's adventure for you to read about is at the Bunbury Wildlife Park, and just in time for the school holidays. Last year we found ourselves visiting many places to do with animals such as the Australian Zoo, and the Australian Reptile Park but towards the end of the year we were starting to get a bit tired of them. We've now taken enough of a break from them to be ready to go again.

Bunbury Wildlife Park is a great place for families to visit. It is highly interactive, and big enough to spend anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours there, making it a great place to take the kids. There is a wide variety of Australian native birds, mammals, and marsupials, as well as some international parrots too. It is spacious and flat with plenty of shade. It is also a nice place for a picnic, either bring a rug, to lay it out on the grass or find yourself seated at the picnic tables. There's even a BBQ provided for your convenience. If you are feeling like a coffee before or after your adventure with the children there is a cafe near the entrance. As mentioned in our Bunbury blog there is a big wheelchair inclusive playground next door, and the big swamp walk across the road, for afterwards if you and the children still have energy to burn.

As I mentioned Bunbury Wildlife Park is highly interactive for the young and younger. Upon entering the the park you are given the opportunity to buy some animal feed for the kangaroos and some of the birds. It turns out you don't really need this for great interaction with the animals but children certainly get a buzz out of it. Within a minute of entering our first aviary for the day a beautiful, green Eclectus Parrot flew down and landed on Cameron's shoulder. We read on the information sign that once they choose a spot for their nests they can become quite protective of it. He was wearing a hoodie so thought it may have decided to go in there, but it didn't actually go in the hoodie part, it just sat on the outside. Not really sure what was actually happening, but it seemed like it was doing some sort of mating ritual with him. The best I can do to describe it is that it was humping and dancing on Cameron's shoulder. Quite strange to watch, and fairly strange for Cameron to experience. It didn't even seem to notice when I patted it. This happened in the smaller aviary. There is a beautiful collection of many varieties of parrots in this aviary with information on all of them.

What happened in the large aviary was coming across some territorial ducks. Having had family friends in the past who had pet ducks, I don't underestimate them when they become territorial. They chase you, make angry sounding quacks, and if they get close enough peck you, so we got away from them quickly. Apart from the ducks there were some other beautiful birds in here.

There were quite a few enclosures around the park that had warning signs about the animals biting fingers. Most Australian adults have at one time, (or more), in their lives, probably as a child, stuck their fingers in the cage of a cockatoo or galah and gotten their fingers bitten, and needless to say most will never do it again as the pain is one that would rather be forgotten. These birds are an example of look but don't touch. They are not meat eaters, but their beaks are powerful and sharp. There are many other interactive parts in the park to pat and feed the animals but take heed of the warnings. DON'T STICK YOUR FINGERS IN ANY COCKATOO CAGE EVER! It hurts.

The day we visited the park the sun was partially shining, (by this I mean it wasn't raining which is why we took the opportunity to get out of the house), and the kangaroos were happy to laze around sunning themselves. For food all they had to do was wait until a child came in and force fed it, (I mean this in the nicest possible way), while parents stood back and took photos. All parties happy. Seriously though, even if you are an adult, patting the kangaroos is nice as their fur is soft, and you wouldn't get that opportunity in the wild, as you run the risk of them kicking you, if they didn't bounce away first. The kangaroos at the Bunbury Wildlife Park are tame and used to people, just like the parrots.

We had a lovely day as we meandered through the park. Our favourite bird was Ruby, another Eclectus Parrot that was bright red instead of green. We picked up quickly that one of her carers must be a smoker, because she did the perfect imitation of a smokers cough. It was hilarious, and made our day. 

 - Happy travels, Jeni.

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