Friday, May 22, 2009

Face to face with Australian iconic animals in Cleland wildlife park…yeah!!!

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Just a 15 or 20 minute drive from Adelaide into the beautiful Mount Lofty ranges will bring you to open air Cleland wildlife park.

Cleland wildlife park is like an open air zoo with a big range of Australian native animals: koalas. kangaroos, emus, wallabies, tasmanian devils, dingos, etc.

Thus, one can actually see and touch (if allowed) the animals for FREE!!! Sit beside them, feed them, take tons of photos…..it’s a good concept to see the animals roaming around the environment which mimic their native habitat.

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Right after viewing the stunning panoramic view of Adelaide from Mount Lofty summit, i trekked down 3km to Cleland wildlife park which is also located in the Mount lofty ranges. One can also trek to waterfall gully and Mount lofty botanic garden from here, which many ppl do so. It’s either you trek from Cleland wildlife park uphill to mount lofty summit or down from the summit to the cleland wildlife park. Bear in mind, jogging around this region is famous exercise, so you’ll see many jogging to travel between these tourist spots.

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The trail and aussie bushes along the 3km trek :), as it’s summer still, it’s dry and easy to walk on, no dirt, no mud, ….the trail is just well paved and CLEAN.

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Be dazzled by some pretty wild flowers along the trail leading to Cleland wildlife park and many conifer-type trees.

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Seen this blue stuff before?? No, right? Neither do i, i’m surprised to see that you are ask to clean your footwear before you end the trail by rubbing the bottom and side of your trekking shoes on it to brush off a particular type of fungus called Phytophthora (root-rot fungus) that might have stuck in your shoes. This particular type of fungus has threaten the local plants by infesting the root system and preventing the plant from absorbing water and thus wilting of the plant. This particular fungus has sort of became a national problem for aussie plants, the aus gov are trying their best to control its spread.

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A wooden sort of home for birds on the trees here (photos on top left), i guessed, the authorities are taking gud care of the birds, haha.

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Finally, i have reached Cleland wildlife park after trekking for 3KMs.

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Bought a 12 dollar concession ticket and a bag of food to feed on animals, and i rushed for the feeding session of Australia wild dogs called dingoes. Hmm, did you know that Australia has the world’s longest fence to fend off the wild dingoes from farms area???

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The caretaker for dingoes whom tame and take care of this pack of wild dingoes gave us a nice introduction on dingoes. Apparently, dingoes are similar to dogs, but there have some features that make them different, forgot all dy….wahahha. However, these dogs the same as the african wild dogs live in packs and have dominant alpha male as the leader of a pack.

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This one here on the top left is also a dingo but 5years old (if i din remember wrongly) and is very nice and more comfortable with humans around where as the other dingoes are shy. He is also more tamed compared to other dingoes. The fur of this dingo is more white as he is older. This one is the dominant alpha male which is more experienced in hunting and more cunning. THis is the only dingo in this wildlife park that is a pure bred where as others seems somehow to be mix dy and this alpha male is the only dingo in this park allowed to roam in the adjacent bushes for hunting.

After an interesting session with the dingoes, i moved on to se the famous iconic animal of Australia, KOALAS….So excited!!!

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Do you know that koalas spent most their 24 hrs zzzz on the trees?? Only active during early morning and late evenings??? the eucalyptus tree leaves they eat is actually toxic and contained very little energy for koalas, thus koalas are not active animals to preserve the little energy they consumed from the leaves.

The best thing here is you get to see koalas really close and in fact you get to take photos with them!!! You can even hold them if you pay $$ and take photos in another room.

Saw that small mammal in the top right pic?? It’s not rat, dun scream….wahaha. It’s actually a type of mammal and it is not afraid of human beings :)

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Me with the koala :) :) :) :)….wahahha, i was pretty shock to find that koala is actually quite a big size animal than what i owez thought, and the big ones are not as cute as i tot…whahaa. Anyway, was so excited to c it and even touch their soft fur only on the back of the koala (you are not allowed to touch its head, it’s like u dun like ppl to simply touch your head, wahaha).

There’s also a wetland in this park…thought i din pay much attention to them, just birds….wahaha.

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However, there’s this pretty tiny blue bird with kept on popping here and there on one of the trails in the park….can you c it in the above pic???

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KANGAROOSSSSSSS……there are so many here, there must be hundredth of them here in the open area. These kangaroos are not behind cages or fences, you are free to “interact” with them…wahha, as well the emus, the big bird tat look like ostrich and cant fly too. These kangaroos are like care-free and SO USED to us, humans, as if we are more “38” to see them than them seeing us, wahah :) Some are just like BORED with humans, and some dun “hiew” the food you gave them…wahaha.

There are grey and red kangaroos here that i know, though i’m not sure exactly how many species there are actually. These kangaroos just sit or lie there under shady trees to avoid the hot sun and it’s really interesting for me to actually see for the first time, the galloping of this kangaroos with their strong hind legs :), the smaller kangaroos are definitely cuter than the big ones which can be taller than you when they stood up, abit scary….wahaha.

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Wallabies!!! I actually never heard of them before until i reached here and know that they actually these kangaroo like animal….really similar except they are generally smaller in size but looks more cute and have more colourful fur. There also various species of wallabies, this one in the top picture are found among the rocky hills slopes.

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The bad evil tasmanian devils!!! Cant really see them except part of the face and the eyes as the animal burrow themselves during day time and are only active during nite time. These animals are born evil and selfish due to their competitiveness right after they are born as cubs compete for limited milk from their mom, even after they grow up, the same siblings fight among themselves and especially for food (Surprised i noe so much?? i learned from documentaries, wahahha).

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A protective fence for the tree (top left) to prevent animal CRAWLS which damage the bark.

A less interesting animal to me, the wombat….wahaha, moved quite slow and in fact this one on top was on diet, and visitors are adviced not to feed them….which I DID coz i saw the sign later…wahaha.

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Living fossils?? this animal just look like a porcupine to me…..din noe such animal exist.

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Somemore wallabies (another species) that is less beautiful, wahhaa (top left).

There is also an animal house for nocturnal animals. This place is only dimly lighted to suit the habitat of these nite-active animals top right and bottom left).

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All in all, awesome encounters and experience with these native aussie animals….How lucky am i to have this chance to see them… :)

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