One of the most visited tourist attractions here in my lovely home town of Perth is the Perth Zoo – it’s in a great location on the south side of the city centre and it’s popular to take the ferry from the CBD over to the zoo. I may have a rather biased opinion because I’ve visited a dozen or so times in the last year – thanks to having a toddler and a zoo membership – but I also think it’s a pretty great zoo.
|Elephants at Perth Zoo|
When we go, we usually arrive right on opening time at nine o’clock, are one of the first few through the gates, and speed our way right to the very opposite side of the zoo to visit the gibbons. They are without even a close contest my son’s favourite animals there, and high on my list too, mainly because the enclosure is well set up so that the gibbons can (and do) come right up close to you so there’s just a window between us and them, and they’re so interactive and fun that you can’t help but be mesmerised.
A visit to the nearby tigers is also compulsory (less interactive, probably a good thing), and we often try to see the morning elephant show where the trainers show how they interact with these incredibly intelligent animals; my personal favourites are the giraffes, and they recently built a (tall!) platform so that people are able to eyeball a giraffe and offer them some branches of leaves to eat. Kids have to be four to feed the giraffes so I’ve got two years to wait, although I have been considering just doing it myself before then – I do have a particular thing for giraffes!
It’s got a good Australian section too, which is I guess where most of the tourists head. We don’t always go through there, and last time we did we had a bit of an incident with a kangaroo who got his head right into my handbag and ate all my son’s sultanas. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!
There are, despite the sultana-eating-kangaroos, many things I love about the Perth Zoo (and no, they didn’t pay me to say this – I’ve just had a lot of experience there in the past year or so!), but above all it’s a green, shady, relaxing place to stroll around, and even on a busy day it’s large enough to never feel too crowded. It’s certainly come a very long way from the concrete cages I remember there from my childhood visits, and like most modern zoos looks like it’s always trying to improve the conditions for animals. If you’re visiting Perth with kids then it’s a must-see, and for anyone else with a love of animals and a spare half a day, I’d send you there too.