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08 November 2015

Hold a Koala, Check!

People, it has finally happened. I finally got to see koalas and kangaroos in the flesh!

This weekend Jon and I went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is just to the southwest of Brisbane. Between trying to read the map (no data, means old-schooling it) and the prospect of holding one of those little furballs, we couldn't get there fast enough.

Jon almost stepped on this guy. 

This is me meeting Maximus for the first time. He  took a couple of times to let me hold him; he seemed to be partial to a more flat-chested landing pad, which wasn't exactly something I could offer (sorry dude! I really do wish I looked more like a tree). Finally, once he was stuffing his face, he let me hold him. 

Jon suggested that holding the koala must have made me feel maternal, but those claws. YIKES! They are terrifying. Fortunately, these guys are pretty cuddly besides, especially when they are chillin' in their trees.

The whole koala holding situation made me feel a little sad for these guys. It was this sort of assembly line set up, with one teenage girl after another getting her photo with a koala. In the end though, these little guys are getting paid pretty freaking well for their photo ops, and it does allow them to live, breed, and grow in safety, which is important for a threatened species. 

Still, zoo-type situations always make me feel a little uneasy... I'm just happy the koalas are getting paid enough to stay safe.

Here is my massively overpriced photo they took of me with my koala. I was one happy pumpkin.

This is an Emu. We were both pretty happy to see one another.

Then we went to feed the kangaroos and joeys. These guys had already eaten a ton and it was hot... so they were all sacked out in the shade. 

Kangroos are pretty beefy. Look at these guys below. Even lying down they look like mob bosses... you would not want to mess with one of them. Jon was pretty sure one was going to jump up at any point and thump him, which made coxing him close enough to get a photo a pretty hilarious exercise. 

Still we both tended to take the photos with the joeys... these large ones were intimidating.

Then we went to the platypus tanks. Jon was very excited about this, as you can see. It was pretty dark inside so I didn't get a great shot of the real one, but that is what it looks like when it is swimming. 

Something I really loved about this place is that they are super blogger friendly. Every couple of feet they had a little outdoor lounge set with with wifi... they called them "blogger lounges" which I think is so clever as it encourages ever visitor to advertise for them across social media. Well played Lone Pine, well played...

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