In our travels we’ve been fortunate to have many animal encounters, from feeding a rhino at San Diego Zoo to wearing a python like an enormous necklace at Canberra Zoo. While we always think it’s a privilege to get up close to any animals, the experiences that send my camera into overdrive are usually the baby animals. With understandably protective mothers, it can often be hard to get a clear look or photo, but with a long camera lens I’ve often had the chance to witness the most beautiful bond between mother and baby. I thought I’d share a few of them in a Mother’s Day special. You’ll notice not all parents are of the animal kind. Thanks to the many humans who care for our orphaned wildlife in animal parks, we’ve also seen a wonderful bond between adoptive human parents and fur babies.
PIGLET THE WOMBAT AT FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK SYDNEY
We met Piglet the orphaned wombat at Featherdale Wildlife Park several years ago. Jocelyn, holding Piglet, is one of BJ’s favourite keepers at the park and shared her little charge with us.
Wombats are absolutely adorable as babes but as adults can be dangerous.
Dingo puppies grow up super fast but we’ve been lucky enough to cuddly some of Featherdale’s dingo pups when they’ve been pretty young. Just look at those eyes.
Featherdale Wildlife Park has excellent wheelchair access throughout. You about our previous visits to Featherdale here.
WILDLIFE HABITAT PORT DOUGLAS QUEENSLAND
While many visitors are happy to spot a croc while in Tropical North Queensland, I was smitten with this little joey we found at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.
The mother was so attentive primping and preening her joey without any resistance.
This is one of the youngest joeys we’ve spotted in our travels.
You can read more about Wildlife Habitat and other accessible adventures we had while in the Cairns area here.
SEBASTIAN, MADELINE & INDI – THE KANGAROO SANCTUARY, ALICE SPRINGS
After watching the series Kangaroo Dundee on TV we were keen to visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Brolga, the owner, rescues orphaned joeys and devotes his life to his mob of kangaroos. We were lucky enough to meet Madeleine and Sebastian on the sunset tour.
Brolga may be a tall man but his mob certainly see him as Mum.
AJ enjoyed playing Mum on the tour by bottle feeding Indi who happily guzzled her drink down in no time.
You can read more about the Kangaroo Sanctuary and our visit in our review.
TALLOW – WILDLIFE WORLD HAMILTON ISLAND
Most parents are familiar with carrying a baby or toddler around and it’s pretty similar in the animal kingdom. Baby Tallow wasn’t keen on climbing or moving too far from her Mum when I spotted her on Hamilton Island.
So many of the animal poses I capture I can relate to. The bond and love is evident in the interactions between the animals just as it is with humans.
In our travels we’ve seen many cute joeys but the most fascinating encounter was at ZooDoo wildlife park in Tasmania. Seeing twin joeys would have been special enough, but to see one albino and one grey Bennetts Wallaby in Mum’s pouch was extra wonderful.
Access at ZooDoo is mixed but we managed okay with BJ’s manual wheelchair.
TARONGA ZOO’S MANY BABIES
Whenever we hear there’s been a birth at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, we head along to take a peek. Squirrel monkeys, elephants, hippos and more, there always seems to be some new resident to welcome to the zoo.
Animal encounters certainly give us humans a wonderful way to connect and appreciate our furry friends. And it’s uncanny, just how like us they are in their nurturing and parenting. We hope wherever you are in the world you’ve enjoyed your Mother’s Day.