An after-school zip around Wellington Zoo | Country Kids

When my youngest daughter, Alice, heard that Wellington Zoo had five new otters come to live there, she was so excited to go and visit them. As the zoo is only a short, five minute, drive from our home – and we have an annual pass – we had good reason to pop by the zoo after school. We got there at 4pm and, with only one hour before closing, made the most of every minute we had.

Our first stop, was the gorgeous new otters! They had arrived from Perth Zoo, a group of five male otters, just that week.

Otters at Wellington Zoo

They huddled together, following each other closely, with one appearing to be the brave leader. If he went into the water, the others followed. They are an absolute delight and extremely inquisitive and curious.

After spending a good five minutes or so greeting the otters we raced on up to the chimpanzees, who were enjoying the gorgeous view of the city skyline on a calm, late autumn afternoon.

Chimps at the Zoo

There is a gorgeous baby chimpanzee at the Zoo, who was cheekily playing with another young member of the group – before returning to the safe comfort of mother’s arms.

Chimpanzee family on a beautiful skyline in Wellington

After seeing the chimpanzee family Alice decided we’d continue up the hill to see the lions. It isn’t always possible to see the lions, as they are sometimes hiding in their cave or around the back of their enclosure. This visit, we were in incredible luck!

Handsome male lion at Wellington Zoo

Alice had a close-up encounter with a male lion that was extremely intrigued by her – as she was with him…

Aslan the lion!

Feeling elated with seeing ‘Aslan’, in a very Narnia like moment, we ran on past the giraffe, bidding him good evening, and down the hill to the Sun Bears and Tiger.

Sun Bears and Tiger

Again, we held our breaths, hardly expecting to see anything. It was late in the day and we thought the animals may have retreated to their indoor homes, with the fading light. However, good fortune was smiling on us.

Sun bears

We saw not one, but two sun bears, and they were wondering around enjoying the waterfall in their spacious enclosure, dipping their paws in the water to take a drink and making the most of the calm evening.

We then glanced across to the tiger enclosure, adjacent, and couldn’t believe our eyes. The tiger is often hard to spot, in his grassland like enclosure on a hill, with plenty of places to hide from prying eyes. On this occasion we spotted him, as he jumped past the main viewing window and retreated to his indoor enclosure.

Alice and the tiger

After all the excitement, with the zoo only fifteen minutes from closing, we hurried back to the exit. We had just enough time to visit ‘The Nest’, where the caring vet team care for injured native wildlife, before their strength resumes enough to be re-released back into the wild. They were hand feeding a couple of native birds.

On our way out of the zoo we bid the beautiful new otters a fond farewell, just as the sun was setting on their enclosure. We shall visit them again soon, when we have more time to walk around at leisure.

Otters at sunset at Wellington Zoo

A  final request from my youngest – to add this video of her with the model tiger and sun bear 🙂


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