School holidays are upon us, and with the Easter weekend stitched on to the start of this break, that’s over two full weeks of entertaining the kids.
Now, there are few things kids enjoy more than a furry animal encounter, so here are a few school holiday activities to occupy your Easter school holiday days.
1. Meet the bilbies at Featherdale Wildlife Park
Two beautiful Greater Bilbies will be the star attraction at Featherdale Wildlife Park these Easter school holidays, with some WILD Family Fun packages also available.
Featherdale is asking Aussies to think of this nocturnal, long-eared alternative to the more traditional Easter Bunnies this year as they celebrate Easter.
The Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) once roamed 70% of the Australian continent. This non-aggressive shy marsupial is easy prey for foxes and feral cats, and since their introduction, Greater Bilby have disappeared from more than 80% of their former range. The species is now presumed extinct in NSW and is listed as endangered in Queensland, and vulnerable nationally. It is believed there are as few as 600 individual animals left in the wild in Queensland.
Featherdale Wildlife Park has a Nocturnal exhibit designed especially for these spectacular little marsupials and with the species considered extremely vulnerable, the Park is getting right behind saving these lovable creatures.
“It’s extremely important to raise awareness of the plight facing our endangered species and Bilbies need all the support that we can give them”, said General Manager, Tim Sinclair-Smith.
Other highlights available at Featherdale for the kids include the popular Keeper presentations, and Special Holiday encounters from April 3 to 19 including:
- Spot the Bilby mascot who will be handing out Easter eggs or have your face painted between 11am – 1pm each day from Good Friday to Easter Monday
- Meet a real Easter Bilby at 12.30pm outside Featherdale’s Nocturnal House
- New Feeding Trails. Follow the keepers as they feed the animals throughout the Park. Limited spaces available each day. Tours commence at 11.30am and 11.45am daily for Southern Cassowaries and Wombats
- Last chance to see Ngukurr, Featherdale’s giant Saltwater Croc catch his breakfast at 10.15am daily before his winter fast begins
- Make new friends in the farmyard nursery with lambs, chickens and kids (baby goats that is!). Special feedings take place at 1.15pm daily
- Rapt in reptiles – Meet a baby animal or dare to get up close to a snake or lizard at 2.00pm daily.
Featherdale Wildlife Park is open 9am to 5pm every day over the school holidays. Normal opening times and entry rates apply to all public holidays over Easter and Anzac Day.
Entry to the Park to see these rare creatures from April 3 -19, 2015 is available for $69 for two adults and two children (3-15 years).
Visit www.featherdale.com.au/easter-school-holidays/ for more information.
2. Go gaga over Taronga Zoo’s babies
There are plenty of new baby faces to see at Taronga Zoo these Easter holidays, including the Zoo’s first ever Bilby joeys, a cheeky Squirrel Monkey baby and an Eastern Bongo Calf.
Taronga announced the birth of two Bilby joeys in December. The female joeys, named ‘Tanami’ and ‘Tirari’, continue to grow in confidence and can often be spotted exploring and burrowing in their exhibit alongside mother, Yajala.
Taronga Bilby Keeper, Paul Davies said Easter was a great time to learn more about these shy nocturnal marsupials and focus attention on native wildlife instead of their introduced competitor, the rabbit.
“Although Bilbies share some physical characteristics with rabbits, they have suffered a catastrophic decline over the past 200 years due to introduced predators such as feral foxes and cats, competition with rabbits and habitat degradation,” said Paul.
Visitors can also check up on Taronga’s young chimpanzees, Fumo, Sudi and Liwali, and Gorilla baby, Mjuuku, as well as the cheeky Squirrel Monkey group’s tiny new addition.
If you look carefully you may also spot the male baby named ‘Julio’ holding onto mum, Lena, like a tiny furry backpack as she leaps around the trees of Amazonia.
Taronga Zoo is open every day of the Easter school holidays. For more information visit www.taronga.org.au
3. Say a belated Happy Birthday to WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo’s Nutsy the Koala
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s adorable koala joey, Nutsy, just celebrated her first birthday recently and was treated by keepers to a eucalyptus enrichment cake made from her favourite leaves.
“Turning one is a very big milestone for koalas as they continue to become more independent from their mother,” said WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Koala Keeper Jarryd Carver.
It was a milestone for Nutsy and the start of a new koala conservation project for WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and WILD LIFE Conservation Fund. The zoo and its conservation fund will donate all proceeds collected from donation tins and spinners at the attraction to koala research in the Blue Mountains in an effort to protect the species from extinction.
The zoo’s koala breeding program also serves to educate visitors and provide a potential genetic pool for repopulation of koalas in the wild.
“Nutsy is already a firm favourite with visitors and provides us with the perfect opportunity to educate guests on the current threats faced by koalas in the wild, including rapid loss of habitat as well as dog attacks and car strikes,” continued Mr Carver.
Nutsy lives in the main koala exhibit at Koala Rooftop where she loves meeting all her adoring fans. Guests can have a Koala Encounter and meet her from 10am daily or participate in a Breakfast with Koalas on weekends.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is open from 9:30am daily. Best entry prices can be found online at www.WILD-LIFE.com.au.
Walk up price: Adult $40 and Child $28. For the best value, combine WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo with a pick and mix of your other favourite Sydney attractions including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary.