On Monday I was driving past the Zoo and had a sudden urge to go in and visit. Unfortunately it was only 15 minutes before closing time, so instead I walked around the outside. That was about a 30 minute walk, plus time for stops and photos.
The zoo sits on the lower slopes of Mt Albert, about 3 Kilometres from our place as the pigeon flies. I often look at it through my binoculars, trying to figure out exactly what’s what. The walk helped me place certain features.
The track sticks very close to the zoo fence and here and there were some good views of animals. The African wild dogs, for example, were sunbathing just by the fence. The emus were totally unfazed by my passing by and just eyed me and growled. I wouldn’t have thought a bird could growl …
So yesterday I set off early and spent a couple of hours wandering round and taking photos. Most of my photos didn’t work out particularly well, but I grabbed a few that I’m reasonably OK with. The day started cool and overcast but it quickly cleared and became quite warm. By 1.30 I’d seen most of everything (lots of sleeping animals or seemingly empty enclosures), was hot and tired and I left. I’m very glad I was gone by 2 pm, as it turns out:
Zoo staff say two lions who mauled a Wellington zookeeper were probably only “playing” because they had him for up to 20 minutes but did not kill him.
Bob Bennett, 54, was cleaning the animals’ enclosure just before 2pm, when the two-year-old African lions — Malik and Zulu — passed through an open gate and attacked him.
Zoo staff responded to his cries for help and were able to drive the lions off.