One thing Pope John Paul II
, the monarchies
, prime ministers
and Phil Collins
have in common, they all visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
, cuddled a koala and hand-fed a kangaroo. I would add it to 1001 must-do list
before one kicks the bucket.
But what struck me on our visit to the animal sanctuary are not the cuddly koalas and boxing kangaroos. What won my heart is one crazy goat
who wants to chew my shirt and get hold of my camera. He’s just so damn adorable I want to take him home. I am still laughing from the inside every time I think about it. We used to raise pigs and chickens when I was just a kid. Unfortunately, they end up on a dinner plate on St. Paul’s feast day
. Knowing the fate of farm animals, I was glad that we didn’t have a goat. I once witnessed a neighbor's goat being slaughtered and it’s not pretty. Upon its imminent death, it makes a sound that cuts deep right into your soul. They say a lot of people will probably turn vegetarian if they were made to kill their own dinner. Imagine wringing the neck of your own
turkey and then serve it for thanksgiving
instead of getting it from a grocery store already plucked.
Just like the famous people, the tourists too all want to have their photo taken cuddling a koala. Having already cuddled a koala several times, we opted to get a photo with a 3 meter python
instead. The python seems to like going for my neck (probably wants to strangle me). I can’t say that I’m fond of snakes but Ryan seems to be fascinated by them. Embarrass to say, I decapitated a venomous brown snake once in our backyard with a shovel to protect our family dog who’s trying to fight it off. Our dog simply wanted to protect my son Ryan who is only a toddler at the time and wanted to play with it. I wouldn’t wish this to anyone. It made my skin crawl .
Anyway, Ryan got picked to participate in the “Birds of Prey”
show. The park rangers got the owl to fly towards Ryan by placing a dead mouse on his arm. I was sooo proud I was grinning from ear to ear !
One of my favorite attractions at the sanctuary is
feeding the wild birds (Rainbow Lorikeets, that is). I noticed that they are now a lot more aloof and easily spooked. They used to perch on your head and feed off your hand. Now, you're lucky if they stick around for more than 5 minutes. The lorikeets were just on the news recently as hundreds of them were falling off trees, losing motor coordination and appeared to be “drunk”. They suspect that the cause might be viral or change in diet. Either that, they’ve probably just been hanging around Irish pubs lately (haha!).
The sanctuary recently opened a new pavilion worth half a million dollars to accommodate one platypus
. I'd say this one lucky beaver with a "duck-bill" which made it special has better housing than over 6 billion people on our planet. How's that for a perspective.
Whilst the kangaroos are just happy lazing around the open field, most of them aren’t interested with the special food we bought from the kiosk. They’ve already probably been over-fed by the tourists.
One of the perks of having a brother who works at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is, we always get in for free ! We bumped into
one of my friend Darryl at the entrance gate. She went in with us and got the AU$30 fee waived. My brother also threw in free steak and salad for lunch and a nice cappuccino and pastries for afternoon tea.
I didn't care whether my shirt got ripped or eaten. The kind of joy that one crazy goat gave me was priceless ...
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