I have a confession to make: Australia Zoo is a short drive down the road and I’ve never given much of a thought to going there. Why? Well theme parks, to my mind, always conjure up images of roller coasters and slides and rides. Something you know is safe but also a little scary.
I guess I want thrills for my bills.
The idea of watching an animal scratch itself simply failed to engage my imagination or my enthusiasm.
Boy, was I was wrong about this.
For a start, something I never for a moment thought would engage my attention was seeing the African enclosures. The giraffes were graceful, sure, but I can’t begin to tell you how mesmerizing the rhinos were. They really do trot across the fields like nimble young tanks (to quote Douglas Adams). You know what you’re seeing, because you’ve watched Jumanji with the kids, but these beasts just seem so unlikely.
I loved our day at Australia Zoo. Well, most of it. There was this one thing which happened which scared the absolute bejesus out of me.
Until going to Australia Zoo the only snake handling experience I’ve ever had was with Allens Killer Pythons. I don’t even like to handle worms and suddenly I was being handed a body double for Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s scaly pet.
“I’m a little bitohmygodIdon’tknowaboutthisdoesitbite?” I said bravely while my voice hit some new high notes.
“Only if it senses fear,” the handler said, wrapping it around my shoulders. “Smile for the camera.”
But even though my nads retracted well into my early teens, this was not the scariest part of the day.
We’d settled in to watch the first of two fantastic crocodile shows. The Crocoseum has clear water, so you can see all the action. The second croc show was in the murky waters of a billabong-like arena. Even the experienced handler seemed non-too-pleased to be in there dangling a hindquarter at the croc, mainly because the big, hungry beast kept disappearing under the water. A large part of each show seemed focused around getting the crocs to stop looking at the handlers as food and to start looking at the food as food.
“What I need is a volunteer from the audience,” said the khaki clad bloke center-stage in the Crocoseum.
I was wrestling in the stands with a wild animal of my own. Miss1 had just decided to break free and do a runner, climbing through the rows of people behind us. I lunged at her, just managing to get a finger to her and drag her back.
“You!” boomed the voice through the speakers. I froze. Surely not. “The bloke standing up with his back to me!” Shit.
I turned wondering if maybe I could plough up through the rows of people myself and escape out the exit.
But, mercifully, the bloke with the mic was looking at some other poor sod on the other side of the arena.
Still, as scary as the idea of jumping into the Crocoseum with a real, albeit small, croc was, this was not the scariest part of my day.
Amused? Please repay by sharing with your friends 🙂
When not over here, Bruce hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page.
”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”