Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Swee'Pea and her friends visit the animals of Urimbirra

Urimbirra is a wildlife park not far from Waitpinga with all sorts of wild Aussie creatures, the main attraction being kangaroos and... you'll see.

What do you want, Sweatie? See, I don't have anything in my hands or my pockets. Oh they would nibble on clothes too. Anything will do.

Isn't he the absolute cutest? I fell in love with his expression (after a scary approach, I have to admit). And Marie, those op shop sunglasses make you look like a fly. Yes I know, it's very trendy around that area (no not really).

Another favourite, the koala of course:

A very dense fur but sooooooo soft and smooth, very addictive to pet. And it leaves your hands coated with a subtle layer of oily substance. Because of eating oily leaves? I can't remember what the lady said.

Koalas are sweet things but not nearly dangerous enough for the three ladies. What they needed was a shameless display of bravery. By handling snakes, for instance. Well, some were a little more brave than others.

I don't know how many people can claim they ever had a snake sliding down their back. Eeedie can!

Have we talked about this tree before?

There were more adventures in the park, including parrot attacks, but unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries, leaving me with a sum of two useless cameras. Such a pity.


  1. Those are some fine aminals, as Popeye might say.

    Who could resist the urge to tickle the back of the neck of a koala? (And who could enjoy the experience more than that clearly ecstatic koala!)

    I think the only creature on earth anywhere near so dear as a koala would have to be the Red Panda, or Firecat.

    Certain other Urrimbirra-ites perhaps a bit less cuddly, though -- the slithering-down-the back bit... still, the slitherer does appear peaceable enough. And obviously enjoys having its picture taken. Can it have been a celebrity in a previous life?

    So the myopic wombats and kangaroos have stripped the bark of that big tree to make their little (and big) Urimbirra boekies, then??

  2. Tom, you are right, the Red Panda is almost irresistibly cute and cuddly. This fluffy chap had me cracked up, the dear thing.
    Vizma and Eeedie played with the snake for a long time. I just held it for a few seconds and OK, that's fine now, you can have it back. But it's got an interesting texture, I was expecting something slimy and cold, but not at all. The weight is interesting too. When you hold it it moves very slowly and it's hard to anticipate the direction it's going to take, it's a bit like having multiple centres of gravity.
    I think kangaroos make mail art in the park at night.

  3. I thought the main attraction was the FIG tree! Mmm, yum, there wasn't a sign but we took that to mean "All you can eat." We definitely ate our $12 entry fee's worth!

    And those Koalas, I just love how mum and babe share matching beauty spots on their bums.

  4. The shock arrival of that attendant causes the startled firecat in the video to do a back-flip, the poor adorable thing. And then when the door closes, we're left to trust that all is well inside.

    Urimbirra looks a wonder, all right. I suppose it's not so miraculous that the 'roos are happy to be fed, but the lovely delicate manners of
    this one suggests a gentle temperament (not to mention a high level of what I believe humans like to call civilization).

    So the slithery one is no lightweight, then. Very gracious of Marie to be so polite about being slithered upon. The whole visiting party may be entitled to expect a warm reception upon any future return, eh?

  5. The fig tree! Oh yes we had our fair share of juicy forbidden fruit, yum yum. At some point I even thought I saw the tree in that video. Funny coincidence the girl in the video was also left with uncharged batteries when visiting the park. I have to confess, at the risk of cliche', my favourite ones were the 'roos. They are gentle indeed. It takes a while getting used to having something hopping towards you, in fact there are some frightening photos of me looking very frightened, to say the least. But I miss them, they have such a unique "expression", sweet all over.

  6. Dangerous Aussie wildlife! The blog from March P&P!
    I guess I was lucky to be attacked by a measly little parrot and not a croc or snake, but I think my hearing is still affected by that bird's maniacal screeches in my ear. I gave as good as I got, but to no effect, since my brave comrades were on the outside of the aviary laughing hysterically, making no attempt whatsoever to save me!!

    Oh, I have many demons to face before I return. I've just borrowed Alfred's 'Birds' DVD from the library as part of my therapy.

  7. That good, plain signposting does the job. I had a Time Life book of many Aussie animals when I was a small boy. I remember being particularly fascinated by the echidnas.

    We have a red panda at Birmingham Nature Centre. It went on the run for about 4 days in 2005 before being apprehended down by the canal smoking cadged cigs and drinking 20/20.

  8. Well I'm the sort that will spend the dead frigid middle of the insomniac migrainoid night sniffing about for traces of a Firecat, lost or found.

    'Twas stirring anyway to learn that Babu the roaming Firecat was given his just acknowledgment -- the coveted Brummie of the Year Award for 2005 -- only fitting indeed, given that his brief renegade stint caused zoo visitor numbers to jump quite dramatically:

    "Geoff Cole, Assistant Director for parks, sports and events at Birmingham City Council said:

    "'Visitor figures have risen significantly at the nature centre since Babu's disappearance and recapture last year.

    "'Following his return to the nature centre on 2 November last year visitor figures for that month were 3,979 which was an increase of over 1,000 from the same period in 2004, approximately 130 extra per day.

    "'Visitor figures have continued to be healthy and last Saturday the 754 paying attendants was double that of the same Saturday last year.'"

    Which would have made Babu the hands-down BNC Cash Cow (Cash Firecat??) of the year, possibly even the century (well, the entire millennium) as well?

    Still, one can't help but shrink a bit from that hard verb "recapture". To be honest I'd have been rooting for a lengthier stretch of un-captured time. One would have hoped Babu could out-quick his captors -- but perhaps this was always going to be yet another case of Power over Beauty.

    Certainly he would have been more mobile in the box than, for example, Emile Heskey. (As would an oil tanker, for that matter.)

    And too his impact -- or more accurately the impact of his very brief period of absence and hopefully-happy freedom -- does seem to have been considerable.

    Though, given it's such a tiny zoo and none of its animals appear particularly dangerous, this BNC warning notice did seem a bit of overkill. But that's the age we live in, I suppose. Even when here's no terrifying emergency, dream one up, rush in the Security Experts, and cower in irrational fear till the foghorn sounds... for the Last Judgment?

    And as the BNC is right there in WB's Edgbaston neighbourhood, he'll know better about this -- but it seems that once Babu had slunk (or been trucked?) off to Bristol, his star turn completed, his place in the Cage of Honour was taken up by another fine "specimen":

    Unnamed Red Panda (Firecat), Birmingham Nature Centre, 4 April 2009

  9. Hahahaha. That's incredible. But.... is this true about the smoking and drinking? "Birmingham: It's not Shit" is very elusive about this.