Take 2: Madison's Day at Featherdale Zoo
Written by Madison Koo (she/her) age 16 from New York. Edited by Brianna Luedke.
“Ow, my face!” OMG, a kangaroo just punched me! Oh well. I guess that’s what I get for going into its refuge and trying to stick food in its mouth. Just kidding, I didn’t actually do that. I did try to feed kangaroos, but I made sure to follow the rules and stay out of their pens. Therefore, I was able to have fun and stay safe at the same time. And if you’re wondering where you can have such a wonderful experience, look no further than Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney, Australia. I was able to see and feel so many animals.
When I entered the park, I was greeted by a swarm of wallabies. They excitedly hopped towards the visitors, sniffing for the cups of food in their hands. Warning though, don’t get too mesmerized by the adorable faces of the mini kangaroos. If you feed all your food to the animals in this first part, there won’t be any left for the kangaroos in the back. And you don’t want them to starve, do you? So, as I backed away from the hypnotic wallabies, I stepped into koala land. If you thought the wallabies were cute, just wait until you see the little tree huggers. I swooned as my eyes swept through the branches of sleeping koalas. The sight of these bundles of joy were irresistible, and so I decided to take a picture with one. This koala encounter is just one of the park’s opportunities to engage with wildlife. In this VIP package, you get three prints of you and the koala, as well as digital photos. Quite a steal, if you ask me. After lurking by the koalas for a bit too long, I moved on to a second pen of wallabies. Most of the wallabies were at the back of their pen, so I lured them out with food. I poured a pile in my hand, and they ate right out of it! I must admit, it was a little icky, with their moist tongues lapping the food from my hand. Thank goodness there are sinks stationed all around the park for this exact reason.
Next to the wallabies, was an exhibit of Australian birds. There was a cockatoo latched on the side of its cage, a cassowary doing laps around its enclosure, and a galah nesting on a tree. By the birds, I also witnessed an odd-looking spotted animal. I though it looked kind of ugly, but my friend thought it was cute. Upon further inspection, we learned it was a quoll. The quoll is, no cap, the closest surviving relative to the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Unfortunately, this animal is endangered, and in order for conservation efforts to take place, they need your support. I stand in solidarity with the quolls, even if they're not my favorite animal. Following the quolls, I entered the farm animal area, the (no doubt) most dangerous place in the park. There, not one but two of my friends got attacked by animals (donkey and goat specifically). I snapped a few quick pictures and got out of there as quickly as I could, preserving myself in the safety of the kangaroo exhibit. I thought feeding the kangaroos would be similar to feeding the wallabies, but boy was I wrong. And by that, I mean there were no kangaroos to feed! The animals were physically there, but they hugged the wall and never approached the cups of food. They must of just gotten fed. I was a little bit disappointed, but it was still cool to see the kangaroos. After waiting for the kangaroos to move, I realized it was time to leave. But wait! There's was one thing i had to do before I left… go to the gift shop!