Tasmanian wildlife...Amazing surprises! Kangaroos and wombats!


Joey head and legs hanging out of the pouch.
When we arrived in Australia 19 months ago (after a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney), we flew in Trinity Beach which is located 20 minutes from Cairns in the northern territory/state of Queensland. 

This male was huge.  Had he stood, he'd have been as tall as Tom.  His musculature was impressive.
We've lived in a lovely property with expansive views of the ocean, mountains and hills anticipating we'd see lots of wildlife.  Not surprisingly, there was little wildlife in the residential area in which we lived.  We were more than willing to explore. After the first few days we were chomping at the bit to see our first kangaroo. 

This made us laugh...only the joey's legs were sticking out of the pouch.
Our landlord directed us to a nearby field close to the highway where both kangaroos and wallabies resided, relatively easy to spot.  We couldn't have driven there quickly enough.

Mom and joey enjoying the sunny day anticipating treats from visitors.
Once we arrived, we realized we were too far from the kangaroos and wallabies to be able to take good photos.  Over those three months in Trinity Beach we returned to that field many times hoping for a better photo, a few of which may be found in this post.

This mom didn't hesitate to put her joey in a downward position for a handout.
From this site:

"Unlike the young of most other mammals, baby kangaroos are highly underdeveloped and embryo-like at birth. After a gestation of up to 34 days, the jellybean-sized youngster makes the journey from birth canal to pouch by clambering up through its mother’s fur. Once safely in the pouch, the joey suckles solidly for just over two months. 

At around six months, once the youngster is sufficiently well developed, it will leave the pouch for short periods, returning when it needs to feed. Red kangaroos leave the pouch for good at around eight months and continue to suckle for another three to four months; grey kangaroos leave at about 11 months, continuing to suckle until they are as old as 18 months.

Interestingly, female kangaroos are able to suckle two youngsters simultaneously – one in the pouch and one outside, offering two different types of milk, as well as having an egg ready for implantation."

We made a lot of noise in an attempt to get this wombat to look up for a photo.  It was chow time.  Note how he's  more interested in eating the starchy pellets instead of the slice of pumpkin and the apple, somewhat like humans.
Eventually, after driving through more remote areas and not spotting any wildlife, we decided we couldn't live in Australia for these extended periods and fail to see its wildlife, unique to the continent.  As a result, we contacted the Cairns Tropical Zoo (a rescue facility) to ask if they'd host our visit, give us a tour and share details we could publish for our readers.  They were delighted to assist.


Finally, he picked up his head for a side view, immediately returning to his food.
Here's the link to one of the zoo posts we published at that time.  This particular visit in the Cairns area was a little more expansive than our recent visit to Wings Wildlife Park which had a few less species.


Too big for the pouch but still nursing.  As stated above in quotes, joeys can nurse up to 18 months after leaving the pouch.
Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting Wings Wildlife Park which provides for a few more hands-on experiences than in Cairns.  Each facility of this type, including many others we've visited in various parts of the world, have their own unique offerings providing the visitor an opportunity to appreciate the wildlife more commonly found in each country.

This young kangaroo was relaxed, hoping for a handout.
The kangaroos, seen up close and personal, were a particular highlight for our recent visit, especially seeing the not-so-shy joeys firmly enclosed in the safety and comfort of their mom's pouches.

Scratching.
As we wandered the facility up and down a number of steep inclines and hills, we took dozens of photos many which we'll continue to share over these next several days, even with new topics we'll post unrelated to the zoo.

The kangaroos have a huge natural habitat in Wild's Wildlife Park which is obviously conducive to procreating successfully in captivity. These two moms both have joeys in their pouches.
The only disappointment in visiting these types of facilities is the difficulty in taking photos of some amazing birds and small creatures enclosed in tightly woven mesh/fences.  We'll include the few good shots we managed along the way.

This joey looked somewhat large to still live in her mom's pouch.
We hope you all have a lovely weekend engaged in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment as we've found in this wonderful place, this Tasmania.
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Photo from one year ago today, January 7, 2016:

Tom, for the first time ever, ordered a Caramel Macchiato on the Celebrity Solstice one year ago today.  It became his "go to" coffee drink at the Café el Bacio where each morning we prepared the post.  For more details, please click here.

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