Saturday, January 08, 2011

18 Nov 2010: Going wild at Featherdale Wildlife Park

18 Nov 2010, Thu:

Yes, the stop after the visit to the Blue Mountains was the Featherdale Wildlife Park. This attraction has won a Gold Award in the NSW Tourism Award 2009. I personally like its intimate setting and prefer it to the Taronga Zoo that I had visited two years ago. Featherdale Wildlife Park focused on introducing and educating its visitors about Australian wildlife. I like its fairly interactive Koala bears enclosure.

The park welcomed its visitors in a very personal way. One of the rangers greeted us with an adorable looking young marsupial, technically known as a joey. I thought quite positively of the Featherdale Wildlife Park for its public relational skills.

Admittedly, I seem to have a liking for the Koala Bears. I was quite delighted to find a good number of the koala bears at the Featherdale Wildlife Park to be awake. I was aware that they spend about 20 hours per day sleeping and it takes good luck to see a koala bear that is awake. I learnt that the koala bear's diet consists of tallowwood, grey gum, sydney blue gum, narrow-leaved peppermint, manna gum, forest red gum and many more.

At the Featherdale Wildlife Park, I also had the pleasure to see animals such as the emu, wombat, Tasmanian Devil and penguins. It was quite a heart-warming sight seeing children getting close with the docile animals such as the kangaroos.

I was rather intrigued by one of the species known as the short-beaked Echidna, also known as the Spiny Anteater. The short-beaked Echidna is found all over Australia and is an egg-laying mammal!

Interesting, I noticed that there were a few albinos that can found in the wildlife park. I think it was at the Featherdale Wildlife Park that I saw an albino kangaroo and an albino peacock for the first time in my life? Anyway, I suppose the management of the wildlife park may have a liking for albinism or genetics? Seeing the albino animals reminded me of the Genetic chapter from the Biology classes that I had taken more than a decade ago. It is rare to have an albino animal. Both parents must have recessive genes for the trait responsible for the production of the melanin pigment. If both parents with recessive genes for the trait looked normal, the chances to have an albino child is only one out of four.

Agriculture is quite an important industry in Australia. You could imagine that I could not leave the Featherdale Wildlife Park without checking out the section on farm animals. I saw sheeps, goats, turkeys and more. I was told that there were pigs on display but I could not find any. At the very least, I shall consider myself lucky that I have managed to see how these animals look like in real-life. It is simply a priviledge to see them in real-life in the urban city of Singapore that I live in.

People and moments that I am grateful for:
1) One of the nice folks from the tour group helped me to take photographs with the koala bear.
2) The weather was great.
3) Thank goodness that I had sighted a number of Koala Bears that were awake at the Featherdale Wildlife Park.

New things that I did:
1) I visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park for the very first time in my life.
2) I learnt a bit more about the wildlife of Australia.

Featherdale Wildlife Park
217 - 229 Kildare Road, Doonside
NSW 2767 (near Blacktown).
Tel: (612) 9622 1644

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