This morning Julie and I got on the hour long ‘Aussie Zoo’ bus, to Australia zoo. We knew that the zoo was created by Steve Irwin’s (aka the crocodile hunter) dad and then carried on and renamed by himself, and we knew that it is situated on ‘Steve Irwin Way’ a highway named after the crocodile hunter, but we didn’t realised the zoo is basically a tribute to all the work that he did, both as an entertainer and a wildlife conserver. Every walkway, shop, restaurant, animal disclosure or even toilet has a picture of him or him and his children. There is a wall of photos, a timeline of his life from the start of the crocodile hunter to the moment of his death. There are films being played everywhere and every animal enclosure has a special ‘Steve’s did you know fact’ on it. There’s even carvings and statues around the zoo.
After having a walk around the crocodile pools and the koala area, Julie and I went to the ‘Crocarium’ to watch Bindi’s (Steve’s daughter) jungle show and then the families Animal Warriors show! Bindi is now like Australia’s version of Hannah Montana, singing about the animals of the jungle and also her dad, with over the top dance moves and her jungle girls as backup dancers, but it was great fun for the kids and they were all dancing along with her and she plays her role really well. She also is still at school as she’s fifteen so she does this in her spare time in the school holidays!
Then the warrior show started… And it was SO SO SO fab! At first the zoo entertainers came on, getting everyone excited and ready to see some animals and before we knew it there were Mccaws and all different birds whizzing and zooming over our heads as their trainers were in the audience so they flew from one trainer to anther! Then a man came on with a new bird that has never been in a show before, it was huge and although I don’t remember the name I remember it was ‘the yellow tailed…’ something. Anyways this bird has been trained to fly to a specific object and in this case it was a five dollar note. The trainer picked a random lady from the audience, got her to find a five dollar note, roll it up and hold it out. (She was atleast fifteen rows back in the audience) Suddenly the bird flew to her, landing right on her hand where the money was, taking it and flying back to the trainer. The trainer joked about keeping the money but soon the bird had flown back to the lady, with the money and put it right back on her outstretched hand!
Next it was the reptiles and although we couldn’t see the snakes and lizards that they were holding that clearly, it was easy to see that they were massive!
Then, with a massive round of applause, Terri (Steve’s wife), Bindi and Robert (Steve’s kids) all came into the spotlight to do the crocodile part of the show! It was such a delight to have the actual Irwin family showing off the crocs and feeding them and Julie and I feel so lucky we got to see this as obviously it’s Easter Monday but normally the kids would be in school! Robert (who is about 11 and literally a mini version of Steve) was first up and they joked about how he was feeding the biggest croc in the zoo, and along to some terrifying music, a teeeenytiny croc swam out – but it was still so aggressive and Robert was very brave to get that close! Then the real big croc came out, she’s the biggest crocodile they have in the zoo at about 8 feet and from up in the stands I was even scared!
Each of the Irwin family took it in turns to feed the massive crocodile, including little Robert! And when it was Bindis turn, she, with the help of her mum, demonstrated how the crocs can jump up vertically in order to reach food!
The last exciting moment of the show was when Steve’s brother in law, Toby, got in the water with the crocodile! And he also demonstrated with a caucus on a rope, how strong the crocodiles are as it basically pulled him in the water every time! The whole way through the show everyone was making comments about Steve, what he’d taught them, what he’d have done and how he would have teased them all, it was a lovely sentiment and it’s quite moving that they include him in everything they do in the zoo!
It was a lovely day with brilliant weather at an absolutely incredible zoo, and I even managed to lose Juliet for a few minutes to pop into the shop and get her a present for her birthday tomorrow – but shhh don’t tell her!