Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo
an ibis stretches its wings
We arrived at the zoo around 2.30pm, but fortunately discovered that
tickets are valid for two days. We drove around the zoo, thinking that
would be faster, but in retrospect walking would have been just as fast
- if you want to see all the exhibits, you'll be covering that distance
anyway. Cycling would be an even better option if you have bikes.
The layout is basically a big loop road, with pens both inside and
outside. Most of the primates are on islands in lakes. African animals
make up a large part of the population -- there are tigers, lions,
elephants, rhino, giraffes and many ungulates. There are also many
Australian animals -- notably a wide variety of wallabies and kangaroos.
There's one small aviary with Australian birds, but the uncaged birds
were also an attraction for us - we saw our first Apostle birds here
(another "west of the divide" species), and had fun identifying other
We stayed in a Formule 1 chain motel overnight and had dinner in a pub
in the centre of Dubbo.
a guanaco nibbles a tapir's ear
The Asian small-clawed otters were one highlight of the second day: there
were five of them, and they looked and behaved very much like ferrets.
Then there was the guanaco nibbling the ear of a tapir (presumably
encouraged because it was eating parasites).
Another highlight was the wombat: Camilla hadn't seen a (live) one before
even in a zoo, and this one was very tame, running around outside at
midday and jumping up to the top of the fence so we could pat it.
Western Plains Zoo is run by the NSW Zoological Parks Board,
along with Sydney's Taronga Zoo. For more information see the official
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