Hi From Down Under! — Your Chief Ed Abroad

Nov 12, 2013
The Reptile Report
by Editor in Chief

The Reptile Report - I can’t even begin to describe how awesome this trip has been so far!  The only downside is missing home and not being able to log in freely to see everything that’s happening in our herping community.

I think I kind of snuck into the hotel’s WiFi, so I guess I should be quick–but it’s hard to know where to begin!

The Scales’n’Tails show in Ipswich was awesome and the people that put it together are amazing folks.  I’ll get more into the details and such when I get home, but I definitely wanted to give a shout out to everyone involved.

The Australian Zoo is phenomenal.  The zoo is huge, but has only a few animals compared to its massive footprint.  That translates into massive enclosures for the animals they do have.  It was absolute paradise for all the animals living there.  Even the red pandas had outdoor air conditioning to help them stay cool in the hot Australian summer.

Yesterday (relative to the moment I’m writing this…given the time changes and when I’ll actually publish this, it may be today! LOL) ….”Yesterday” was probably one of the best days ever.  A long drive through the beautiful Australian countryside to Bob Irwin’s place waaayyyy out in the country in what seemed the absolute middle of nowhere to me.  It was breathtakingly beautiful, and heartbreaking as well.  Wildfires had ravaged the area on three sides of his property, but had not gotten past his own firebreaks.  We drove past the remnants of them, still smoldering and burning in patches.

But once on his land, the fires disappeared and everything was amazing.  Bob, his wife Judy, and the people that work with him are unbelievably gracious, generous and in love with nature.  We rode out, standing on the backs of “Utes” (sport utility vehicles) across his property to release some wild carpet pythons that he’d caught messing with his chickens.  We saw koalas up in the trees.  We climbed his handmade observation deck.  We had dinner, and listened to Bob talk and other stories from the folks he works with.  When the sun went down, we caught frogs and geckos on his deck.  It was…magical.

We flew into Darwin today.  Tomorrow we visit the Crocosauras facility and get to “swim” with the giant salties.  We will also be visiting a local keeper who has a huge pond with giant flyriver turtles.  We’ll get to swim in the pond with these amazing animals!

I’ll write loads more when we get back to the states, and I’ll share lots of pictures.  The whole group will have tons of great pictures, I’m sure!

And no doubt, there will be another trip with Brian Barczyk next November.  So start  planning and saving!  It is SO worth it!!

Later mates!

Judy Clothier
Chief Editor of The Reptile Report

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