SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is famous for its expansive habitats featuring African and Asian species. The all-new Walkabout Australia gives park guests a view into a new region of the world with interesting and unique species.
The immersive 3.6-acre Walkabout Australia habitat, representing Australia’s rural landscapes, opened Friday. The Walkabout Australia experience offers the opportunity for up close animal interactions with unique species like kangaroo, wallaby and wombats. These unique opportunities are similar to experiences offered by zoos in Australia and are a key part of their work to engage local communities in species preservation.
Included in Walkabout are habitats for the southern cassowary and the endangered Matschie's tree kangaroo. Both are unique and beautiful species threatened by loss of habitat. Both species are new to the Safari Park and form part of a national effort to create sustainable insurance populations of this species under human care.
Meet Cliff the Tawny Frogmouth owl. With their nocturnal habit and owl-like appearance, tawny frogmouths are often confused with owls, but are actually more closely related to the nightjars. Their feet are weak however, and lack the curved talons of owls.
Photo of Cliff the Tawny Frogmouth owl at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Walkabout Australia takes guests through four different types of Australian habitats: grassland, rain forest, wetlands and desert. Featured animals include western gray kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, brush turkeys, radjah shelducks, freckled ducks, magpie geese, double-wattled cassowaries, Matschie’s tree kangaroos, kookaburras, rose-breasted cockatoos, echidnas, sugar gliders and wombats.
Meet Wally, this particular skink is species of blue-tongued skinks only found in western Australia. Blue-tongued skinks are dominantly omnivores, meaning they eat insects, worms, mice and fruits. They use their tongue to taste and smell. It is a heavily-armored species that can be found a various colors, from dark brown to cream. As a defense mechanism, they can lose their tail and regenerate (sometimes two tails grow back). They camouflage and they use their blue tongue to frighten predatory birds and mammals. They can play dead as well.
Photo of Wally the blue-tongued skink at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
A pathway, with no barriers, lead guests through an expansive grassland, home to a large group of Western gray kangaroos and red-necked wallabies. The kangaroo and wallabies may come right up and interact with guests!
Meet Addie! The arid red center of Australia is where you will find this red kangaroo. Living in groups of 10 or more referred to as “mobs” consisting of an adult male, several females and their young “joeys”. Red kangaroos are the largest species of marsupial in the world.
Males are called “Boomers” and females “Blue flyers” due to their bluish gray coloration. Red Kangaroos can jump 6 feet vertically and 30+ feet horizontally.
They are not able to move their back legs independently of one another and must “hop” everywhere.
Photo of Addie the red kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Walkabout Australia is included with Safari Park admission and Membership.
For more information, visit their website.
Two dogs attacked a woman and her toddler son on an East County roadside Thursday, leaving them seriously injured, authorities said.
Come into Battle Axe and you are sure to learn a thing or two. The "axperts" will teach you two-handed throws and a little humility.
A local trash collector found a tiny treasure – and a friend for life - on the job recently. Michael Cabrera was finishing up his shift one night when he found a kitten trapped in his truck.
San Diego Border Patrol agents, who are enforcing the Justice Department’s ‘zero tolerance policy,’ have become targets of abuse over social media as the immigration debate continues.
People across the world in 800 cities are celebrating Make Music Day on Thursday. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff's in Carlsbad pulling some strings at the Museum of Making Music.
You may have seen people with red shoes around San Diego on Thursday morning - and for a good reason. News 8's own Carlo Cecchetto, AM 760's Mike Slater and hundreds of volunteers hit the streets for the annual Red Shoe Day fundraiser, collecting donations for Ronald McDonald House San Diego.
An injured pigeon received some TLC from an unlikely source – inmates at Donovan Correctional Facility.
The U.S. government wrestled with the ramifications Thursday of President Donald Trump's move to stop separating families at the border, with no clear plan to reunite the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents and Congress again failing to take action on immigration reform.
The summer solstice, the first official day of summer, has arrived — which means it’s also the start of summer swimming pool season. So, it’s time to make sure if you have a pool that you’re doing everything you can to keep it safe and clean.