Big Cat Interactive @ the Adelaide ZooAll the interactive and special experiences at the Adelaide Zoo begin early in the morning, well before the zoo opens. It was an easy walk and bus ride to the Zoo from my hotel so I was very early! We were met by a volunteer and entered the Zoo using a staff entrance. The volunteer walked us to the Big Cat Building as she told us about the history of the Zoo and some of the buildings we were walking past. She introduced us to Matt, the Cat Zoo Keeper. He was a really nice guy who has two cats at home and was happy to spend an hour with some crazy cat ladies. The group was made of myself and a small family (Mum, Dad and 17 year old daughter), and they allow a maximum of 6. Four was plenty of people, in my opinion.
We started by meeting the gorgeous tigers and hearing about the breeding program, the daily routine of the tigers and their diet. The others in our group were able to feed the tigers a treat of lamb leg bone. We spent about 25 minutes in the tiger building and looking into the main tiger enclosure. The tigers at the zoo are quite old and no tiger would live so long in the wild. The eldest of the tigers takes a strong pain medication to treat arthritis. I laughed when I realised it is the same medication I take for my chronic pain. It was at this time the Zoo keeper revealed he takes the same allergy medication that the Zoo's panda has been prescribed. Obviously the dose is different.
Mudjimba, the lion top left, likes to greet keepers and guests by
standing on his hind legs and scraping the bars on the door of his enclosure.
Top right: the lioness I got to feed.
Bottom Right and Left: the oldest female tiger living at the zoo.
We moved into the Lions' building, next, where we met Mudjimba - a gorgeous lion, who likes to act tough. He actually has a lot of ongoing medical conditions, which was sad to hear about. We also met his girlfriends, a set of lioness twins who were born at another zoo. They bully Mudjimba quite a bit. It seems they're very catty! LOL. I fed a treat to one of the lionesses. She was only interested in the food!
|Meet Mudjimba. Isn't he gorgeous. Those eyes.|
Our volunteer escort accompanied us the whole way and took some lovely photos for me when I was busy (feeding etc). When we finished with the Zoo keeper and seeing the cats, the volunteer took us to the Zoo Gift shop and we received a FREE water bottle with a small booklet of discount vouchers for the café, gift shops (yes, there are two) and membership. Then, our tour was over. I headed off to see a few of the animals - Cyrril the emu and the Meerkats, the pandas, the lemurs and more - before rushing off to Hashtag Meow.
|Cyrril the Emu|
|Meerkats are so CUTE!|
Hashtag Meow - Cat CaféAnother easy bus trip and another short walk got me to Hashtag Meow (click here for more info). It's the only cat café in Adelaide and has been open since December 2016. They already have 21 cats in residence and I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to grow. All the cats have been rescued from homes where they were no longer wanted or the street after being abandoned. Most of the cats are pure bred and absolutely gorgeous. The owner/ manager, Amelia, is a lovely young lady and she welcomes all her guests with a smile. She is happy to chat or leave you alone to relax in the company of the cats. She told me about all the cats and listened to my stories about Shelly and my holiday. Most of the cats were happy to join in a game or curl up beside you for a pat or a neck scratch. As it was a fairly quiet day (mid-week afternoon), Amelia let me stay a little longer than my allotted hour (for no extra charge) and it was really hard to leave. I felt so at home there.
I took dozens of photos of the cats at Hashtag Meow. These are just a few of them.
I loved the kitty scratching train. The kitties loved playing on it and sleeping in it too!
The State Library of South Australia
The Mortlock Wing
The almost puurrfect day (see what I did there?!), was wrapped up with a visit to the Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia. They had an exhibition of the History of Toys and Play, which was just lovely. They had toys, games, books belonging to prominent Australian families (historically). They also had letters and diary entries of the children and adults who had owned the toys. It was beautiful. They had some interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy as well and a guest book. The whole thing probably only took about 40 minutes to explore but it brought back some truly fond memories for me.
There is little I can say about the Mortlock Wing - because if I start, I won't stop! - except that it is the original building that housed the State Library Collection. The architecture is beautiful and it now houses the original 'general collection'. The books are very old! University students sit among the old books with their laptops and ipads. Anyone can wander in and take a book from the shelves to read or simply smell. It's beautiful!! I didn't get to the library until after 3pm but at 4:45pm, the security guard had to come find me and tell me it was time to go. I could have spent another two hours there, at least. Oh, what am I saying? I could have easily spent another day there!
Photo from the second balcony of the Mortlock Wing.
That's one world class library ticked off my bucket list, just another hundred or so to go.
It wasn't until this particular day that I realised how close my apartment was to the Cultural Precinct including the Library, the Art Gallery and the Museum. It was not just Walking Distance! It was a short walk!! Thank goodness for that, because my feet were very sore by the time I found the exit to the library.
That was that, I meandered back to my apartment and had fruit and cheese for dinner.