The newly opened Carnivores' Trail of the Melbourne Zoo promises snow leopards, South American coati, Sumatran tiger, Tasmanian Devil, and the African wild dog. We have been to the zoo twice since the official unveiling of the new exhibit that costs $9 million, but we had no luck spotting the powerful snow leopards and Sumatran tiger on both occasions.
While walking along the trail from one enclosure to the next, we heard people expressing their disappointment and unhappiness (some complained loudly. Some tried to pacify their grumpy kids with soothing voice). The vast and empty enclosed areas left many visitors bewildered and puzzled.
But I guess that's exactly what makes the Melbourne zoo so great.
You see, instead of succumbing to public pressure and forcing the new animals to appear before the full view of the very large crowd of visitors (school holiday period is definitely not helping with the number of them!), the zoo decided to adopt a more humane approach so that the new comers can slowly adjust to the glamorous surroundings on their own pace. The enclosures are spacious and specially designed to simulate the actual natural habitat of the wild predators. The new inhabitants are given choices and certain free will: they can either meet and greet the visitors by stepping out onto the open platforms, or retain their privacy by hiding under or behind the covered areas, away from the scrutiny of human beings.
Yes, it will be really nice if we can get at least a glimpse of these beautiful carnivores and admire their impressive agility, but these should never come at the expense of distressing the animals. Instead of satisfying the temporary curiosity of the general public, the zoo is more concerned about the permanent adjustment of lives of these precious new residents.
So pending the animals settling into their new home environment, may I suggest we shift our attention to the very awesome large scale "street arts" splattered along the very well designed Carnivores' Trail. These wall murals are outright stunning and make superb backgrounds for group photographs.
The magnificent art pieces were created by our very own talented Melbourne street artists Adnate, Makatron, Dvate and Andrew J Bourke, who have helped adorning the public walls of Melbourne city for some good many years with their well-recognized painting styles. We love them all. The arts give a fabulous local touch to the new animals trail, and definitely make a splendid addition to the new wildlife home.
Melbourne Zoo, Elliot Ave, Parkville VIC 3052