Part 2...An environment of dedication, compassion and love at the Cairns Tropical Zoo...

We fell in love with the Pelicans for their beauty, grace and movement.
The Freeman family, locals in the Cairns area, have been instrumental in developing an extraordinary wildlife experience since 1980 with a goal of providing the utmost in conservation and species preservation.

A Pelican show of wing span.
With a wide array of educational and highly entertaining presentations available that enable visitors to participate in many hands-on and up-close and personal interactions with appropriate wildlife, those visiting the Cairns Tropical Zoo find themselves enriched from a unique zoo experience.

Peacocks were freely roaming the grounds of the zoo.
In addition, the Freeman family established the private North Queensland Wildlife Trust which includes not only the Cairns Tropical Zoo but also, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Kuranda Koala Gardens.  By the development of the trust, funds are raised for the conservation of native species and their habitat.
Even these less than attractive Lizards can be cute in repose.
It is this kind of passion and dedication for wildlife that is exhibited throughout the zoo as Jasmine toured us through many of the areas to see wildlife we'd never seen face to face in any environment throughout our world travels.

Mom or dad make a comfortable pillow.

A pile of Turtles.
To be able to take numerous photos as shown here without placing our camera into the holes into a tight chain link fencing gave us a feeling of openness and space, certainly enjoyed and appreciated by all of the various wildlife.

Spoonbill, rightfully so named.
Of course, the dangerous animals such as the massive crocodiles that caught our breath, the design of their habitat provided total safety and security while allowing the photo enthusiast full access to those much revered perfect shots as we're sharing here in both Parts 1 and 2 of the two day story.

A Wallaby is a small or mid-sized macropod found in Australia and New Zealand. appears to be a miniature Kangaroo.
The snakes including some of the most venomous in the world were safely behind full glass enclosures that still allowed a relatively clear shot as shown in our photos.
When mom got busy in an bit of a scuffle with another Koala, joey, Violet, decided to high tail away from the action.
Our course, not surprisingly, the Koalas captured our hearts.  Jasmine was able to take us inside the  "nursery" of the Koala House.  For the first time, seeing baby Koalas inside the pouches of their loving mothers was a sight we'd long desired to see. 

Curious as we approached.
The "joey-in-the-pouch" sighting warmed our hearts as well as the other visitors happily snapping photos in the Koala House.  Buttercup, an adult Koala, one of Jasmine's favorites, who'd been rescued by the zoo after losing a leg after being hit by a car, sleepily cuddling in her eucalyptus tree.

It wasn't unusual to see a variety of species sharing an area as is common in the wild.
Much to our surprise, Koalas can consume as many as 1000 eucalyptus leaves per day.  With conservation in mind, the Cairns Tropical Zoo has managed to utilize a means of harvesting leaves from downed branches from the electric company's clearing underneath power lines and from three dedicated eucalyptus plantations, rather than destroying trees in the forest. 

The Emu is the largest bird native to Australia.  We couldn't seem to get her/his attention when she was busy looking through the fence.
In addition, considerations are made for those wildlife that may have originated from a more distinct winter/summer season with seasonal dietary needs.  These facts only added to our respect for the zoo's philosophy of creating a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for all of their inhabitants.

With the bright sun reflecting on the Komoda Dragon house which is encased in glass for safety, we had a difficult time taking a photo through the glass, this being our best shot.
With our interest in a wide variety of birds throughout the world, we were particularly fascinated with the graceful and majestic pelicans, again with incredibly easy access for our photo taking. 

The Cassowary is the third tallest flightless bird in the world.  A relatively shy bird that can be dangerous in the wild when provoked.
It would only be under these special circumstances that we'd have been able to capture such shots as those we've included in both yesterday's and today's post for which we are very grateful.

After recently posting distant photos of Cockatoos we spotted in Holloways Beach, it was fun to up close and personal in one of the aviaries in the zoo.
We express our heartfelt thanks to the staff at the Cairns Tropical Zoo for "handling" our visit with the same attention to detail and care as they provide for each and every creature habituating in their creative and loving environment including at times, some not-so-invited fly-ins.

The entrance to the zoo and gift shop. 


Photo from one year ago today, July 12, 2014:

It was one year ago today that Tom had a haircut at a salon in Ribeira Brava, Madeira. For more photos and details from that date, please click here.


Staci Finch Thompson said...

What a wonderful story to read! Loved seeing all the photos and reading about your visit to the zoo. Thank you for the opportunity to "visit" from afar.

Jessica said...

Staci, we're so happy to hear you liked our zoo story! As much as we are opposed to zoos in general, especially after our wildlife experiences in Africa, we now have a better understanding of what a zoo like Cairns Tropical Zoo is doing to preserve and protect endangered species. It was a great experience!

By the way, we booked that same cruise that you just booked. Looks like we'll get to meet you both in person after all!

Have a great weekend!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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