- Name: Taronga Zoo
- Where: Sydney, Australia
- Price: $44 for adults, $22 for children (more ticket info here)
- More Info: Taronga Zoo website
Whenever I travel somewhere I always like to stop and visit local zoos. So I have been to quite a few zoos around the world, but the one I would say has the best view of all the zoos I have been to is the Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia. The zoo is located on a hillside on the north side of Sydney Harbor:
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This zoo is quite famous in Australia since it is located in the country’s largest and most well known city, Sydney. However, what really made the zoo stand out from other zoos is the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbor that can be seen throughout the zoo:
As my wife and I walked around this zoo it seemed like we spent just as much time taking in the views of the harbor as we did looking at the animals. In fact it is possible to take in views and watch the animals at the same time as we did during this show of wedge-tailed eagle that performed various tricks for the audience:
The wedge-tailed eagle is the largest bird in Australia and are actually quite common to see in the bush:
There are plenty of other Australian animals to be seen at the zoo such as Australia’s iconic koala:
There are of course wallabies to be seen as well:
Here is a picture of wombat that are commonly seen at night in Australia where they unfortunately often get hit by cars while crossing the road because they are so slow:
This next animal is an echidna which is a fascinating animal since it is one of only two monotremes in the world:
A monotreme is a mammal that lays eggs like a reptile. The echidna’s closest relative is the other monotreme species, the platypus. Some other unusual characteristics of monotremes beside egg laying is that they have no teats to nurse their young from like other mammals. These monotremes however do secrete milk from two circular patches on their bellies that their babies lick from. An even more unusual trait is that both the echidna and platypus have a poisonous spur on their hind foot. In the case of the echidna this spur cannot harm anyone since it is now inactive, but in the case of the platypus it can still use its stinger which has enough poison to kill a small dog and cause severe pain in a human.
There are also plenty of snakes to see at the zoo where Australia is home to 11 of the world’s top 15 most venomous snakes:
The zoo also has a number of penguins on display where many people don’t realize that Australia is actually home to a species of penguins, known as blue or fairy penguins:
Despite having all the well known Australian animals at the zoo, my favorite zoo in Australia to see native wildlife is the Healesville Animal Sanctuary in Victoria. There the native wildlife live in a more natural setting instead of being caged as they are in a typical zoo.
The zoo also has quite a few animals from its neighboring Southeast Asian nations such as this orangutan that can be found in Malaysia and Indonesia:
The orangutan is considered a critically endangered species largely because of the deforestation that is occurring in Malaysia and Indonesia. Another animal greatly affected by the deforestation in Southeast Asia is the Sumatran rhinoceros:
The zoo is also home to eight Southeastern Asian elephants that came to the Taronga Zoo from Thailand:
Here is another Southeast Asian creature at the zoo, the Komodo Dragon:
The komodo dragon is only found on two isolated islands in the Indonesian archipelago. The dragons which are the largest lizards on Earth have only been known to the west for about 100 years despite living on the islands for millions of years. Here is a couple of other reptiles, these two sea turtles that are common to the Asia Pacific region:
The Taronga Zoo also has some animals from Africa such as this group of gorillas:
The zoo also has an enclosure with some giraffes and zebras as well:
Finally the zoo also has some North American animals such as this brown bear:
This brown bear is one of the oldest brown bears in the world at 35 years old and was interestingly enough born in my present home town of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Taronga Zoo has many more animals for visitors to see, but what I have shared in this posting should give everyone interested in visiting the zoo a good idea of what to expect. The zoo also has many shows and other events they put on that makes repeat visits to the zoo worthwhile for those who live in the area. So for people visiting just the Sydney area I highly recommend checking out the zoo. However, for people doing a larger tour of Australia that includes a visit to Victoria I recommend visiting the Healesville Animal Sanctuary instead due to its focus on Australian wildlife. If you traveled all the way to Australia what is the point of going to a zoo to see zebras?