BEHIND THE SCENES: MEERKAT ENCOUNTER – NSW

Play with a meerkat or three – this is not your average walk in the park

It’s hard to keep a straight face while a meerkat is perched on your head, keeping watch with his beady little eyes and his tail tucked behind your ears.

But luckily the aim of a meerkat encounter at Symbio Wildlife Park, in Sydney’s Sutherland shire, isn’t to keep a straight face, the aim is to have fun – while coming face-to-face, face-to-tail and face-to-paws with some of the park’s cutest little critters.

For 20 minutes you’ll become transformed from an ordinary zoo visitor into a meerkat climbing frame, a meerkat feeding dish, and a meerkat perching rock.

You can be assured that Lone Wolf, Alexander and Kapuki won’t sit around and wait to be introduced to you, instead they will let their padded paws climb all over you and make you feel at home while you feed them a variety of meal worms and veggies from their favourite rock or log.

A meerkat keeper will be with you every step of the way, and (for a small fee) can take photos to ensure you have plenty of memories once the experience is over.

But don’t think you’ll be the focus of the photoshoot, as the three friendly rascals battle it out for a moment in the limelight.

While Kapuki cuddles up on your lap, Alexander will remind you he’s still there with a playful nip on the arm, before Lone Wolf scampers up your torso and takes his place as the king of the castle at centre stage on top of your brow.

After you’ve washed your hands (and all other areas of bare skin) and said goodbye to this troublesome trio, take in some of the other great enclosures at Symbio Wildlife Park.

The park sells little baggies of animal snacks, which almost all of the furry inhabitants will be keen to take off your hands.

You can feed and pet kangaroos, and if you’re lucky you can get up and personal with a joey in its mother’s pouch.

The llamas and farmyard friends will welcome a snack, and the goats will eat anything you poke in their direction.

If you’re lucky, the red pandas and koalas will open an eye for you, or you can see the tigers being fed extraordinary amounts of steak.

A day at Symbio wouldn’t be complete without a siesta in the picnic area or a dip in the zoo’s swimming pool, and a visit to the miniature monkeys, the wombat, a couple of dingoes and the state-of-the-art reptile exhibit should close out the day nicely.

The park is truly one of the most welcoming and hands-on animal experiences you’ll ever encounter, and a visit with the meerkats will only make what is already a great day an excellent one.

 

Symbio Wildlife Park
w: www.symbiozoo.com.au
t:  (02) 4294 1244
e: info@symbiozoo.com.au
a: 7-11 Lawrence, Hargrave Drive, Helensburgh NSW

 

By Lisa Herbertson

 

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