I'll start with a couple of explanatory notes intended to save my some typing along the way. Unless otherwise noted, the photos in this post were taken at Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth. This was a wonderful place where, unlike another park considered for a visit, you didn't have to pay extra for a photograph of yourself with an animal. This was a somewhat important consideration since I desperately wanted photos of myself with a koala and with a wombat. Also, we saw more animals than I'm showing here, but I'm trying to concentrate on animals one typically associates with Australia. I could, for example, include a photo of myself holding a carpet python, but I don't think people view pythons as a uniquely Australian animal. Kangaroos, on the other hand, are considered Aussie to the max.
I actually missed the first wildlife sighting, napping in the car as we went from Perth to Northam on our first day in Australia. The husband saw a two-dimensional kangaroo beside the road and noted that he thought they could jump higher. Over our time in Oz, we ended up seeing plenty of kangaroos next to or within easy sight of the road; fortunately, we avoided contact with any of them. We saw these guys while touring the wine country in Southwest Australia, around Margaret River.
At Caversham, there is an area in which you can mingle with and feed some kangaroos. Needless to say, this was a pretty incredible experience given that some of the female kangaroos were "with joey." (If you read the Wikipedia article linked above, you will see that adult female kangaroos are basically only not pregnant on the day on which they give birth.)
If you are Facebook friends with me or in my online quilting group, you have likely seen references to my squealing and pushing an elderly couple out of the way so that I could sit with a wombat. For the record, I did squeal, but only after sitting with the wombat. And I did not push an elderly couple out of the way; I graciously let them go first. As for the wombat, her name was Bub. For those readers who think wombats are a wee thing, they are not. Here is Bub.
You may have noticed the stuffed koala sitting with Bub. That's Charlie, the stuffed friend I took along so that he could discover his Australian roots and, hopefully, get up close and personal with some of his own kind. Thanks to the one of two koala keepers who "got it," that plan succeeded.
Of all the different animals we saw, my vote goes to the echidna as the most different. They're spiny anteaters because they do eat them along with termites; however, they are not closely related to what we think of here as an anteater. Along with the platypus, the echidna is one of the few egg-laying mammals. Caversham had an echidna on the same indoor display at which I met Bub,
As for other animals, the wallaby is like a small kangaroo. This one was at the Caversham park.
To speed quickly through some other animals we did not see as much of or find quite as interesting as the above, consider the Australian possum and its prehensile tail.
There's also the dingo, none of which we saw in the wild.
We had dinner in Melbourne at a house often visited by flying fox; unfortunately, they didn't make a stop at the fruit trees in the backyard while we were there. We did see them at Caversham, though.
Finally, not all the animals we saw were exotic by any means, though even some of the more run-of-the-mill animals were striking. Take, for example, this dog waiting for its owners to finish lunch at the cafe beside the Busselton jetty.
Coming next, to this blog near you, a stroll through Perth's Kings Park and the ANZAC Day service that the husband thought about skipping but which turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the trip.