This one did not quite happen as planned, but I would argue that a Kangaroo is close enough and so am calling it done.
When we began the (small) amount of planning we did for out trip to Melbourne, I thought it was important that we hit at the very least a zoo, but preferably some kind of sanctuary for native animals so that Pete could get a good look at all the wacky marsupials that Australia has to offer. Including my absolute favorite, wombats! My research led me to the Healesville Animal Sanctuary. I thought it might be fun to do the whole “get your picture taken with a koala!” thing, so you can imagine my delight when I saw that they offer “Magic Moments”, where you pay ten dollars and get to spend ten minutes feeding and petting and loving the Aussie animal of your choice – koala, kangaroo, echidna (maybe not so much petting on that one?), dingo (I’ll just pet my friend’s dog, thanks), etc… Now, if you multiply whatever you just imagined by delight to be times ONE HUNDRED, that’s approximately how I felt when I saw a note on their page about how they currently had juvenile WOMBATS that were available for a Magic Moment.
Basically, I DIED. Imagine this guy, but smaller:
When I lived in Perth, I went to the zoo with my friend Rob one day. Rob loves Wombats as much as I do, and there happened to be baby wombats there at the time. They were completely INSANE, and for such a short and stout animal, they sure can run fast when they want to! We thoroughly enjoyed watching them flying around their enclosure. I was dying of excitement to pet baby wombats and shower them with lots of love, so it’s a little shocking that I was tolerant of the “scenic” route that we took to get to Healesville. You’re welcome for that, Ros. (It was actually very interesting to see the damage from the massive bushfires back in 2009 and learn about life with bushfires…blizzards and hurricanes we know, tornadoes Pete knows, but wildfires are not disasters that we are familiar with.)
We had a delicious lunch at Hargreaves Hill Brewing Compnay, and when we finally got to Healesville Animal Sanctuary I’m pretty sure that I bounded out of the car. Then I quickly stopped bounding, because it turns out that when baby wombats grow up they turn “mental” and are no longer allowed to play with the public. The woman started to describe their behavior and said that they basically think they are rhinos, running around headbutting everyone. I didn’t think that sounded so bad – they’re little, right? Then she told me after they headbutt you, they bite you. So I told her that making friends with some kangaroos was totally cool. That’s when this happened:
Number 3 on the Spring To Do List? Big fat check.