We headed inland to what is known as wine country to the Hunter Valley Zoo for a social day with the Newcastle Sundance photography group.We had the most wonderful day chatting and catching up with everyone, and it made me realise just how lucky we have been to see so much of the world and so much wildlife in their natural habitats
I loved the zoo as a kid, seeing all the different animals and learning about them, but as I’ve got older and maybe a little wiser, and definitely because we’ve been lucky enough to travel, I’m not so sure anymore. There is still a part of me that loves watching the animals and watching the kids see their first lion, meerkat or koala and the grins on their faces and I hope that like me they wish to see them in their natural environments when they grow up, and because of that they will work to help save those environments and animals, but there is also the part of me that hates seeing them behind the wire and cages.
The rationalist in me knows that zoos (well most) serve an important part for many endangered animals through breeding programs, such as the African lions that Hunter Valley Zoo currently have. They were originally from Taronga Zoo and we’re successfully bred, and now their offspring are part of breeding program too.
The zoo is smallish but packs a lot into their space without it feeling cramped or overdone. Obviously there are lions (1 male 2 females), camels, antelope, sheep, goats, koalas, kangaroos, reptiles, birds, monkey’s, and the ever so cute meerkats, who at the moment have some babies and I can’t tell you how much cuteness their is baby meerkats.
It’s a great zoo for kids as the animals are easily seen, the kids can get up close and personal with sheep, goats, koalas, kangaroos and some of the birds. These attributes also make it pretty good for photographers too 😊
Here’s a selection of some of my shots from our day out: