Animal Adventure

By Charlotte:

My friends, David, Mustabshera, and Gayanuka, and I piled into my mom’s car. We were on our way from Ilam school to Orana Wildlife Park, just outside of Christchurch. It only took about 20 minutes to get there and thankfully the morning was sunny.

After hearing a short safety announcement about not feeding the animals or trying to touch them, we booked it across the zoo to a spot to have our morning tea. Priorities, people.

From 10:45 until 12:15 we toured, seeing many interesting animals and learning about their adaptations and habitats.

Here are some highlights:

I loved seeing the meerkats–they are so cute. We saw them when first got there, mating, but we didn’t get to stop for long because we had many animals to see on our tour.

meerkat, tiget, giraffe, gorilla (clockwise)

I also liked getting to see Tasmanian devils. It was my mom and I’s first time getting to see this species! They looked like big fat guinea pigs with giant pig’s ears and very sharp teeth. A sign said that the Tasmanian devil’s teeth are sharp enough to cut through steel. We saw them mostly basking in the sun and sleeping.

There was a baby rhino; he’s 5 months old and we saw him being quite playful with the adult rhinos. The adults were trying to eat and he kept running into them with his horn. One time the mom rhino turned all the way around with her bottom toward the baby and he just ran and rammed into her bum.

At 12:30 we got to eat lunch near a group of black and white ruffed lemurs! They live on a little sunny island and in a small hut enclosure. When we had lunch they also had some food–onion peels, lettuce, kale. I preferred my yogurt, fruit, chips, and peanut butter and nutella sandwich!


Just one week ago some gorillas moved into the zoo. They have a huge new enclosure surrounded by a 5 meter moat to keep us (and them) safe. We got to see the silverback gorilla rush at the other male gorilla and both beat their chests. It was quite a show of masculine anger. Orana Park will soon have orangatans as well, in the Great Ape section of the park.

Another fun thing was getting to hand-feed a giraffe! They ate some plants right out of my hand and left some slobbery on my fingers!


I was sad that we didn’t get to see kangaroos and kiwis. We went into the kiwi house but didn’t get to see them because they were inside their burrows. All we could see were their bottoms on the security camera. Maybe next time?



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