We are visiting the Monarto Zoo, the largest free range zoo in the world. We used our zoo member ship card to get in to the zoo.
We are camping half a km up the road. We are in a little resting area. Two nights ago there was some silent lightening it was spooky to be reading and having brilliant white light flashing all about the bedroom until dad went out side and said ‘wow look at that’ . I looked and saw lightning forking around the sky! Next morning a big tree branch feel next to the caravan.
Monarto zoo own 1500 hectares of land! They have 15 km of walking trails and two bus loops (“Zu-loop” and carnivore – the “carnivores” only runes on weekends and holidays). Monarto zoo use to belong to the farmers who gave it to the government who in turn gave it to zoos SA. The dairy, stables and house still stand ruined.
The bus we went on was the “zu-loop” went around all of the enclosures. There was always a volunteer to talk about the animals. Some were strict about sitting down while moving. We couldn’t stand up unless stopped to get a better look at the animals. I liked some of the volunteers better than others. One even gave me the microphone!(but then only my mum dad two sisters and baby brother)
There were keeper talks. On the Giraffe,Chimpanzee,White rino,meerkat,Carnivore(the african wild dogs) and the cheetah. For this activity you get to meet the keeper and learn about the animals background and history!
the animals at the zoo are keeped in large paddocks rather than an enclosure. There are the Addax,African Lion,African wild Dogs,Barbary sheep,Bison,Black rino,Cheetah,Chimpanze,Chital deer,Eland,Giraffe,Indian Antolope,Meerkat,Mesoptamian fallow Deer,Ostrich,Mongolian Horses,Scimitar horned oryx,Spotted Hyaena,White rino,Yellow fotted rock wallaby and the Zebra. Most of these animals are near extinsion the monarto zoo is trying to get them back agan.
There are mainly African animals at the zoo, though there are a few from Asia and the bison from North America. Here are a few quick facts I have learnt about some of the animals:
- The scimatar horned oryx are name because of there scimitar sword-like horns. They cannot grow their horns back. There horns are hollow.
- The barbary sheep can stand still for up to 6 hours and jump down mountains!
- The rhino has a horn made of keratin, which is the same protein that our nails and hair are made from.
- The bison use their horn to plow through the snow to get at the grass.
- The chittle deer male lose their horns each year. The new horns grow back in one hundred and ten days.
- The African lion females are the main hunters. They can bring down a wilder beast with team work!
- The spotted hyaena is the largest of all hyaenas. They have the most powerful jaw there of all carnivorous animals. They will eat all of you except your hair!
- The African wild dogs as a pack could bring down a zebra.
- The cheetah can run at 120 km per hour.
- The giraffe male stands at 5.5 meters and female 4m.
- The Mongolian horse has an upright mane, no forelock and cannot be tamed
- The ostrich is the largest bird. The males are black with a pink beak and forlock, and the females are grey.
- When the zebra is born, it’s mother presents its backside to the baby for ten minutes so the baby can recognise its mother’s if it is in trouble.