Monarto Zoo’s Native and Exotic Animals

2 Jun

Dear Reader

There’s something wrong with the first few images; lions do not usually recline under eucalyptus trees and my blogs are about South Australian wildlife. However, Monarto Zoo’s impressive array of wildlife and ideal safari setting certainly merit an article or two from this writer.

 

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Aussie lions

 

When I travelled to Botswana’s Okavango Delta a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see many of Africa’s iconic species. Unfortunately I never encountered hyenas. As you can see from the following shots of two young animals racing around in a space that could easily be an African veldt, Monarto went some way towards rectifying that disappointment.

 

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Spotted hyenas

 

Monarto Zoo is about an hour drive from Adelaide along the Princes Highway. It is a vast (1500 hectares) open range zoo with over 50 exotic and native animals, most of them displayed in open range settings. Visitors tour the enclosures in special buses with volunteer guides who provide expert information. There are excellent tourist facilities including a cafe, picnic areas and special ‘behind the scenes’ tours that can be pre-arranged.

 

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Viewing areas

 

After my predator experiences from the safety of elevated viewing platforms and many other wonderful encounters with plains animals from giraffes to Mongolian wild horses, I had a bite to eat and set off on one of the many walking trails that wind through the park’s natural bushland.

 

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Walking trails and bushland

 

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Visitor facilities

 

I now switched my focus from exotic species back to native animals. Along one of the trails that ran through a display on sustainable, native gardens I caught sight of a shingleback lizard. The dry sclerophyll scrub was also home to numerous small common dwarf skinks that I had not encountered before.

 

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Shingleback in native garden area

 

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Common dwarf skink in leaf liitter

 

Emus and grey kangaroos roamed freely in certain regions of the park and in one smaller, closed off area yellow footed rock wallabies enjoyed a boulder strewn habitat. A variety of birds including: honeyeaters, wrens, finches, various parrots as well as the usual suspects like magpies, crows and birds of prey, were also common throughout the trees and open spaces.

 

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Emus

 

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Yellow footed rock wallaby

 

This unusual combination of exotic animals in extensive natural enclosures alongside bushland that can be accessed by walking trails made my day at Monarto exciting at so many different levels and certainly a special place to visit whatever your wildlife preferences.

 Cheers

Baz

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3 Responses to “Monarto Zoo’s Native and Exotic Animals”

  1. Sue June 2, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    I enjoyed reading your write up of Monarto Zoo. The place looks really well thought out. I’ll definitely keep this place in mind if I get the chance to go to SA.

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