Friday, February 11, 2011

Maybe the Dingo ate Your Baby...

If you are a golden opposum, a tasmanian tiger or an eastern quoll that might be the case.
But more on that later...
We wrapped up our last day in Tasmania's capital city, Hobart
at the annual wood boat fair.
We saw all kinds of awesome boats and pirate ships.
In keeping with my resolution to try as many new things as I can this year,
I decided to try oysters on the half shell.
The vendor couldn't believe I had never tried them before and offered me
a free sample with her complements:
Charlie said, as a non-seafood eater, it was like watching Fear Factor.

We also took a theatrical tour of the female factory a.k.a female prison
with an actress playing the part of a convict woman.
She beautifully tells the story of being convicted in England for stealing a loaf of bread 
and transported to Hobart’s infamous Female Factory in Van Diemen's Land.
{I got a kick outta the 'Female Factory'}
{"excuse me sir, what type of lady would you like"}
There are so many beautiful plants in Hobart; this bleeding heart
reminded me of Mom's house in Lake Charles, LA.

We said our good byes to Hobart and set off to Brighton,TA.
for my favorite Tassie/Aussie memory yet!
There are about 90 kangaroos on site of Bonorong Wildlife Reserve.
{nice pouch}
Bonorong Park (pronounced “Bon-a-rong” - Aboriginal meaning “Native Companion”)

Meet Morris! A 10 month old orphaned wombat.
His mom was hit by a car while carrying him in her pouch.
Luckily, he was picked up and brought to the reserve to be nursed.
Morris’ “teddy bear” like nature will last right up till he turns 2 years old.
Once he has reached maturity his nature will turn into a very aggressive and will be less than cuddly.
Fortunately, wombats can be released back into the wild and are still able to survive without human assistance even after living in captivity.

This guy is over 90 years old and was willed to the reserve by a loyal patron.
It's hard to believe this bird has lived through two world wars!
They can live to be over 100.
Next we got to feed two Echidnas
In the wild they eat ants and when they feel threatened,
they poke out their spikes like a porcupine,
use their strong claws to bury into the ground and

they can stay "hunkered" until they feel danger has passed.
In fact, the reserve will get calls from people who have found them burrowed in their back yards.
Since it’s nearly impossible to remove the Echina without harming it,
the staff will have to dig a big circle around where the animal is burrowed and remove
that whole section of ground.
They are one of the only egg-laying mammals, and lay only one egg at a time.

We also got to see the very shy, nocturnal, Tasmanian Bettong. 
These little guys are so scarce due to recently introduced predators to the area
such as the dingo and the fox (recently as in the last 5,000 years).
They are very fast runners because for centuries their only natural predator
was the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger (now recently extinct)
who were not fleet footed.

And of course they had TASMANIA DEVILS!
Prada really liked the wallaby arm I was feeding her.

It was so easy and fun!
{so easy a caveman can do it}
but please note, only moments before this feeing, I was cuddling with a little wallaby...
ah well, everybody's gotta eat
Poor Charlie wasn't ready for their powerful chompers and the little devils made off with the
peice of meat he was going to offer them after a "tug of war" game.
Their jaws are 6 times more powerful than a pitt bull's
and they have a bite second only to the hyena.
The devils are marsupials too and begin with a liter of about 24 babies;
all of them only the size of a grain of rice.
However, the mother only has four teats available.
To put it lightly, first come and first served,
the early devil gets the milk,
Talk about survival of the fittest!

look, it’s one for each of us, Nicole!

isn't this mama and baby koala adorbs?
we didn't get to see any wee koalas but we sure did
get to meet Banjo, a very sleep Koala!


  1. LIfe is good;
    dream big,
    laugh often,
    love sincerely,
    and be yourself. . .
    try new things like oysters, feeding a Joey, and playing w/a Wombat.....BUT....stay away from a TASMANIA DEVIL..did you hear your Mother, stay away from a TASMANIA DEVIL!!!
    love you y'all lots & lots, Mamma

  2. :) All the pictures are amazing!!! I love you guys!