Thursday, May 28, 2009
After exchanging some cash, we were on our way to the Moonlit Animal Sanctuary. This was going to be our first opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s amazing creatures.
In route to the sanctuary, we got a quick tour of the city of Melbourne. They have some amazing architecture and art. Some of the large art pieces reminded me of the ones back in Denver.
We had a warm welcome at the sanctuary from both people and animals. Rita, the resident wombat, had made a mess of her enclosure and we had to help fix it up…out came the shovels and gloves. Holes were filled in and branches were gathered…soon Rita’s cage looked like new and the students were proud of their hard work.
During and after the work in Rita’s cage, we managed to interact with a few wallabies. These little guys are smaller than kangaroos and look very similar. We all had the opportunity to feed them and get up close and personal.
We moved on to checking the squirrel gliders…looking for those females that might be pregnant. Our final activity for the day was supposed to be looking at some of the weeds on the grounds and actually pulling a few. Unfortunately the light rain we had been dealing with most of the day picked up a bit and sent us into the sanctuary’s kitchen where they prepare meals for the animals. And this is where the adventure really began! The meal worms were pulled out for everyone to see and they soon found their way into the mouths of all Colorado students and teacher. (Some of us even ate two!) Not something I had planned to do, but I couldn’t let my students show me up. Needless to say, they didn’t taste like chicken. On our way back to the main building, we were greeted by several kangaroos…very curious creatures.
Later in the evening we had a visitor share information about the various frogs that inhabit Australia and how they are working to restore many of the endangered breeds. Once again, bugs came into play…this time Ashlee decided she needed to eat a cockroach. This was something I knew I wasn’t about to eat.
Finally, we moved back outside for an evening walk. We encountered several more animals and capped off a wonderful first day in Australia.