Into Burleigh proper I bought a bunch of food and stuff from Woolies Metro for breakfast and snacking, then went back to the apartment for a shower and to chill. The girls took much longer than I anticipated to come back from pizza making class, which looked bloody amazing.
This shot of Irwin holding a croc is, unsurprisingly, not one I took. It is the rather magnificent splash screen of the official Australia Zoo iOS app. This next one is mine though.
I’d referred to it before arrival as the church of Steve Irwin, and it really is. I wasn’t taken aback, mind - on my first visit to Australia back in 2006, my second or third day was Irwin’s funeral and every TV channel was showing it, for hours and hours. He was a legit big deal, and for very good reason.
Parking was a little challenging since there were bloody thousands of people here, what with school holidays ‘n that, but soon enough we got to the pre-paid tickets queue and were in. Quick, let’s look at the otters!
And the other one.
And this... hang on, bit blurry, what’s that up in the tree?
Wait, is that...?
The parent koala are also very cute, but mostly just sleepy curled up balls of cute rather than small hungry and awake cute.
That’s one of Steve’s kids, I think, goading a small crocodile out of the water. Apparently they’re super territorial but not aggressive unless you encroach on their territory – which is the water. So the lad starts off by stamping his feet in the water, to piss him off and make him come out.
Then he picks the fucker up! Hang on, that’s a bloody crocodile! What the fuck are you doing?
Oh, that last crocodile was a small one. No danger. Let’s bring out this giant one and dangle some meat in front of his face. That’ll be fine, right?
What you can also do is dangle some food at them near the water’s edge, when you’re in the bit that’s got much less space to escape from. Yeah, go on then. Or not.
Lastly, to demonstrate that they can also stand up to 7 feet tall on their tail if they need to - top tip: don’t escape from a crocodile you’ve pissed off by jumping up a tree, because they can drag you down out of it.
Oh, that wasn’t lastly. Lastly they realised they had to get the damn thing back out of sight and into where it lives, so the way to do that is – after a bit more food – jump in the water and splash about a lot to make it follow you, and then swim away from it.
I do not want this job. Cracking show though.
I can’t for the life of me remember what this thing is.
There’s a snake and reptile bit full of snakes and, well, reptiles.
And then there’s an aviary, one of those large ones where there’s a double door at either end, and on the inside all the birds are free to fly around you. So they do.
Wait, what? They’re not in cages, just a big expansive area of grass and stuff, over which the humans walk, and you can just go up and pet the damn things? SERIOUSLY?