Thursday, 27 February 2014

An evening at the zoo

We attended a business After Five function at Wellington Zoo tonight. Drinks and nibbles were served at Kamala's, the old elephant house which has now been converted into an indoor/outdoor function room. To be honest, schmoozing isn't one of my strengths. Sure, I know all about elevator pitches and making small talk to potential clients, but I don't find it easy to wander up to some random people and start selling myself.

That's where it was great to have special visitors arrive in the form of a sulphur-crested cockatoo and a tuatara to stroke. I've handled cockatoos (and countless other birds) before, but the young tuatara was a new experience for me; his skin was much softer than I expected (and I don't entirely know what I expected!). They both helped us break the ice.

It's almost exactly three years since we last visited the zoo. So much has changed and developed since then. It was fantastic to hear about and see so many improvements as a result of the Zoo Capital Programme, as well as learning about some of the breeding programmes and developments at the animal hospital, The Nest Te Kōhanga. After the presentation, we were invited to join two zookeepers on a guided tour of the zoo. Awesome! It was really interesting hearing the zookeepers talk about various exhibits and the animals in them. Whoever would have thought the baboons all have names and individual personalities? Or that Malayan sun bears get lots of nutrients from eating dog kibble? The most exciting part for me was getting to feed one of the giraffes again!

My iPhone 5 camera isn't spectacular at dusk and even worse when it zooms, so these photos aren't as clear as my lovely camera would take. Still, I couldn't resist snapping a few souvenirs of our private after hours visit to Wellington Zoo.

Kangaroos roaming freely around their enclosure
A pretty giraffe enjoys a snack
A (blurry) Malayan sun bear in his new enclosure

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