That’s Melbourne Zoo – Roaring Lions and Tigers

Whenever I have occasion to visit a zoo this little rhyme my mother taught me always comes to mind. I have taught this to my children when they were little, and now my grandchildren. Has anyone else out there, heard this poem before?

When I went to the Zoo

There are Lions and roaring Tigers and enormous camels and things,

There are Biffelo, Buffalo Bison and a great big Bear with wings;

And I think there is a sort of a something called a Walleboo,

But I gave buns to the Elephant when I went to the Zoo.


Places to visit – a day at Melbourne Zoo

Monday again, this happened to be a pupil free day. My eldest grandson had more important things to do (as teenagers do!!), so with my daughter-in-law and my 11 year old grandson we caught the train into Flinders Street Station. Changed to the Uptown Line and went to Royal Park, three stop away. The Zoo is only two minutes from the Royal Park station. The Melbourne weather appeared to be turning on the sunshine, so hope it holds for the day.

One of Melbourne Zoos recent editions is the now six month old Sumatran tiger cubs. The four cubs Rani, Imdrah, Hutan and Aceh were separated from their mother, Binjai, at three months for the first time, for a health check. Their father, Ramalon, was nearby. All the cubs passed with flying colors. We watched fascinated as the cubs played and tumbled together. Later in the afternoon both the parents joined them. We were very taken with the Sumatran Tigers and their cubs, they are such beautiful animals and sadly, on the critical list of animals in danger of extinction.

Asian elephants at the melbourne zoo

Mali the baby elephant with her Mum and Dad at Melbourne Zoo

Next on our places to visit at Melbourne Zoo was Mali the baby elephant. Mali has been in the news a lot since her birth, and is just so cute at around six months old. In the morning we enjoyed watching the baby elephant amble around her mother, and again later in the afternoon, when the father and two other elephants were let into the compound with their handlers. Apparently baby elephant Mali is still too boisterous for the other elephants so they are only put in together for a few hours each day.

Mali and her parents are Asian elephants. Asian elephants are also considered animals in danger of extinction. TheSumatran Orangutan at Melbourne Zoo main differences between African and Asian elephants, are that the Asian elephants are smaller in size and have smaller ears compared to the African Elephants. Read my African adventure, Charge of the Elephants at Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa

There are a number of Orang-utans at Melbourne Zoo and like the tigers they are also from Sumatra,and also considered animals in danger of extinction.We enjoyed watching them too, they have such rich, deep orange burnished coats. Among them is one youngster who was very agile, testing himself out on all the apparatus in his complex. He was pretty to watch with his bright orange coat, as he swung from pole to pole in the enclosure.

Finally we caught up with the Giraffes, so elegantly beautiful; they are my favorite creature of the wild. They share a habitat with Zebra’s and a resident Ostrich at the Zoo. Find out  more about Giraffes in my African adventure Flight of the Giraffes.

We all admired the exotic Golden Pheasant an absolutely gorgeous bird with golden yellow and silky red and green feathers; such unbelievable richness of color. The Golden Pheasant is a native of China and has a long history of Chinese culture and tradition.

Golden Pheasant at Melbourne ZooAt the Melbourne Zoo I also saw my first real Electus Parrot. This is a rare Australian Parrot. He was the male of the species, and quite beautiful. I didn’t see the female Electus parrot, who is quite a “miss’. Together they make a beautiful pair. I recently watched a DVD called Australia: Land of Parrots. This is a superb DVD and features the Electus Parrots and Palm Cockatoo, with rare and unseen footage of these birds and their fascinating behaviour in their tropical rainforest habitat, as well as the many other species of colourful parrots, rosellas and cockatoos of Australia. The filming of the birds and the scenic Australian landscape in this DVD is breathtakingly beautiful.

Having recently returned from Europe where the white swan is prevalent, especially around palaces and gardens, it was nice to see our own unique Black Swan with its bright red beak, swimming gracefully in a stream at the Melbourne Zoo.The butterfly enclosure is worth a visit if you like to be surrounded by these graceful fluttering creatures by the hundreds. A very fluttering experience.

Cuddly black wombat Melbourne Zoo

Cuddly black Wombat at the Melbourne Zoo. A great place to visit.

We were enamored of the black glossy wombat and watched as he had his evening meal. He looks so cuddly. We had also photographed a Peacock, and followed it around for a while hoping it would spread its glorious tail, but no luck. However it was sitting on the fence at the wombat enclosure when we arrived, apparently hoping for a left over morsel from the wombat’s dinner. It was quite a wait, and much to our delight the peacock started to arch its wing and scratch, and then it spread its tail, not fully by any means, but draped it down the fence gracefully in all its beauty. I quickly rushed to the other side of the enclosure and took these pics, and then…

…there was this enormous roaring from the Lions. It was a relief knowing that they were in an enclosure (four large male lions), such was the fearsome sound emanating around us. We headed back to see what the noise was all about. I guess it had to be some sort of territorial behaviour as the lions were prowling about their compound roaring and scent-marking their territory as they went. They appeared to be claiming their piece of territory for the night. Their roaring was quite a terrifying sound. If I had heard that sound in Duba Plains camp that night in Africa, when a huge lion was roaming around my tent, I would have been totally petrified forever !

 Green Python in Reptile enclosure

Beautiful green python at the reptile enclosure Melbourne Zoo

My grandson especially wanted to see the reptiles section so we enjoyed viewing a fascinating array of lizards, chameleons, tortoises, frogs and snakes for quite some time. We passed the platypus enclosure twice and the second time caught a look at this unique little creature. They swim so fast; it was gone in a jiffy after it came up for some food.

There are so many animals to see,  gorillas, monkeys and baboons, red panda’s, meerkats, bears, lemurs and more, plus the koalas, emus, kangaroos etc. I missed the pygmy hippo’s  which I had really wanted to see, as there was a baby hippo at the Zoo.  I saw a baby hippo of the larger variety in Africa, refer my article of Duba Plains – A Baby Hippo. The pygmy baby hippopotamus looked so cute on the video.

We couldn’t  see everything, as we had got off to a late start, but as it was almost closing time we headed for the exit. Why are exits always through a gift shop? Oh well!!!

It was a great day, the weather held and it was fine all day, quite amazing for Melbourne weather? Two minutes to the rail, change at Flinders Street Station and then home.

The Melbourne Zoo is a very easy place to visit from the Melbourne CBD.

Tram: Take tram No. 55 from William Street. Stops outside the Zoo.

Train from Flinders Street Station, or Southern Cross Station. Take the Upfield Line and get of at Royal Park Station (just a couple of stops); only a two minute walk across to the Zoo.

Roaring of the Lions at the Melbourne Zoo

The roaring of the Lions captured our attention as they patrolled their enclosure claiming their place to sleep for the night.

Melbourne has three zoos. Melbourne Zoo – above (so many places to visit).

Werribee Open Range Zoo:  A taste of African Adventure with rhinos, giraffes, and zebras, lion’s, cheetahs and hippo’s. This zoo is thirty minutes from Melbourne.

To get there: Take the Werribee Park Shuttle from the Victorian Arts Centre. Bookings essential on 9748 5094

Healesville sanctuary: Unique Australian native animals. See the Koalas, Kangaroos, platypus and emus.

Badger Creek Road, Healesville. Vic. One hour from Melbourne.

Transport: Day tours to Healesville Sanctuary depart from Melbourne every day.

Zoo Admission Prices:

Adults: (16 year and over) $24.80             Children: (4-15 years, under 4 years free) $12.40

Adult Concession:(16 years and over) $19.20.     Seniors Concession: $22.30

Family Passes: (2 Adults & 1 Child $56.58.

($7.00 per additional child up to 5 children)

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