Get up close and cuddly with Australia's feathered, furred and finned favourites
The best thing about Wild Life Sydney is handling the animals – so says our junior critic Bill Blake, who had a go holding a tawny frogmouth and a red-tailed black cockatoo, stayed on the safe side of a five-metre scrub python, got grossed out by white-lipped tree frogs (they swallow using their eyeballs, ew), and was pretty impressed by the butterfly house. For tourists – or utter city slickers – there are also koalas to cuddle, wallabies, wombats and Wild Life's 5-metre-long 700kg croc, Rex. Wild Life's daily schedule of keeper talks, animal shows and feedings should keep you busy.
Exhibits at Wild Life Sydney include:
Time Out recommends booking online for savings on ticket prices.
Kid's eye view
The best thing about Wild Life Sydney is handling the animals. I loved it when Terry the black cockatoo sat on my shoulder. He was unusually heavy and he nibbled my cheek! He is a red-tailed black cockatoo. While he was sitting on my shoulder my brother Thom ran up and scared him away and he was very reluctant to get back on again.
So I got to hold a tawny frogmouth instead. He was extremely heavy on the end of my arm. I learned that he is not an owl, like Hedwig in Harry Potter, although he does look a bit like Hedwig. But he’s not white. He has very big eyes and he’s nocturnal. I learned that owls hunt with their feet and tawny frogmouths hunt with their beaks. They have a very big mouth.
I had a guided tour with Ben. He was a dude. But he was very nice. First of all, he showed my brother and I some short-neck turtles and some whistling ducks. It was very hot in the butterfly house. My favourite was a big blue one that Ben said was called a Ulysses butterfly. Ulysses is the name of an ancient Greek guy. The butterfly doesn’t look particularly Greek but it is very nice.
I saw some squishy things stuck on some glass. Ben told me they were white-lipped tree frogs that swallow using their eyeballs. Eeeuwwww. That’s weird.
I was amazed when Ben started whistling to attract a bush stone-curlew. He was whistling for about five minutes and suddenly a bird came out, it looked a bit like a big furry Ibis. He started whistling back. It was pretty amazing.
Ben said the bird thought he was another bush stone-curlew and they are very territorial so it was trying to scare us off. When I got home, I tried to practise whistling like Ben. I can almost do it. Next time I go to Wild Life Sydney, I’m going to try to call out one of those birds.
Then we looked at Monty, a five-metre scrub python. It cuddles you to death. But really it eats rabbits. I saw lots of different snakes: eastern black snake, tiger snake, red bellied black snake and a diamond python.
Zoe the platypus was swimming around instead of hiding. She looked very strange. She had like a duck’s beak and a beaver’s tail. She was nibbling on blood worms and shrimp. I learned that a baby platypus is called a Puggle.
The most venomous snake in the world is the inland taipain. One bite can kill 200,000 mice, 100 people or 10 elephants. But guess what? It has killed no people. It lives in the harsh outback where no one lives.
I saw Sherman the wombat, satin bower birds, yellow-footed rock wallabies and an ant nest. I learned the ants were all girls! I liked Princess the cassowary – he’s actually a boy. He’s a Princess because he’s scared of water. He hates baths but he likes showers. I liked the kookaburras called Huey, Duey and Louie.
Rex the crocodile is pretty cool. He can hold his breath for two hours. He used to eat people’s dogs in the Northern Territory, where he is from, so they had to put him in a zoo. He has also eaten two of his girlfriends. No more girlfriends for Rex.
I met a lorikeet called Ezzie. She was giving Ben lots of little bird kisses. I thought that was pretty funny.
I got to handle the black-headed python. It was pretty cool. He gave my hand a squeeze. He felt extremely smooth, so smooth he almost felt wet. But he is actually very dry. I also patted a bearded dragon. The spikes were actually quite soft but I still wouldn’t want to eat it – if you were a predator.
I can’t wait to go back. I want to see all the birds again. I am bird crazy now.
I recommend Wild Life Sydney to all animal lovers. Make sure you say hi to Ben when you see him, and Ezzie.
(Reviewed by: Bill Blake, aged 8)
|Venue name:||Wild Life Sydney Zoo|
1-5 Wheat Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 9.30am-5pm (last entry 4pm); from Oct 6 2015-Apr 19 2016 daily 9.30am-7pm (last entry 6pm)|