Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Date: Jan 2020
Australian wildlife is being affected by wildfires. The Toronto Zoo pledged to donate all the income from their Australia Day tours to help support the animal rescue efforts. We took advantage and felt this was a great time to take an Australasia Pavilion behind the scenes tour.
Our tour started with the Matschie's Tree Kangaroo. These kangaroos spend the majority of their time up in the trees and are more agile moving through the branches than down on the ground. The kangaroo pictured above is a female called Puzzle.
The next section of the pavilion features free flying birds. One of our favourites is the Victoria Crowned Pigeons. They have white tips on the feathers that stick up from the top of their head like a crown. If you are lucky you might hear the drumming whooping sound they make when they wish to attract attention.
Next we went through a Staff Only door for a behind the scenes visit. The tour guide opened a wooden door and we found ourselves at the back of the Macleay's Spectre exhibit. We half expected insects to come flying out to make their escape. Nothing happened as the usual defense mechanism for this stick insect is to cling to a branch and gently sway in order to make us think it is a leaf.
We travelled down a small hall and were taken into the kangaroo winter home. There were a few holding areas where the kangaroos were all lying around just relaxing. Once we arrived and lettuce was offered things picked up.
The Toronto Zoo has a mob of Western Grey Kangaroos. A mob is what you call a group of kangaroos.
The kangaroos have big teeth for munching. The kangaroo above on the left was a new mother about three months ago. The baby joey will not leave the pouch for almost six more months.
One enclosure contained what the keepers called the old timers. This is where the senior kangaroos were kept. They often get annoyed by the constant hopping about of their more youthful family members.
There was a Bennett's Wallaby in with the older kangaroos. Wallabies are much smaller than kangaroos so despite being thirteen years old this wallaby appeared very young. Thirteen is an upper age for a wallaby but hanging around kangaroos keeps it looking youthful.
Another wallaby was in an enclosure by itself. It was called a Swamp Wallaby. The keepers ensured us that it was not alone and behind a piece of wood a bettong was sleeping waiting for dark. A bettong is still a marsupial but more of a kangaroo rat than a kangaroo.
After leaving the kangaroo area we travelled through the pavilion to the Great Barrier Reef tank. This tank is filled with various Australian fishes. We went through another Staff Only door and up some steps to the top of the tank.
We enjoyed feeding the fish in this tank. Two of our favourites were the Clown Triggerfish and the Scribbled Angelfish who make a snapping sound when they bite down on the seaweed we dropped into the water.
If you wish to identify the other fish in these videos above you can check out our Toronto Zoo page and scroll down to the Australasia Pavilion (Great Barrier Reef) section. We enjoyed our tour and hope the money donated helps Australian wildlife. You can always go "down under" anytime if you visit the Toronto Zoo.
Map of Our World
Post # 276