You gotta love surprises

It was surprise enough that we were even able to go to Australia, but once we got there, the surprises kept coming.  In April of 2001 The Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irvin was quite popular and we enjoyed watching the show on Animal Planet TV.  Australia is a big country, but from our planning it looked liked his highly acclaimed zoo was accessible and not too far out of the way as we drove back to Brisbane from Hervey Bay. 

 Turned out it was more than easy to get to, because of the large signs we began passing that had the familiar picture of Steve with a crocodile in his arms.  It was also easy to get excited  about having the opportunity to visit the famed attraction.

 We enjoyed strolling around this well kept zoo, seeing the laughing Kookaburra, wombats galore, otters and kangaroos with minimal caging and maximum natural environment enclosures. The grand surprise of the day came right after having lunch in the Dingo Diner, so named for the wild Australian dog. The Dingo burger is stacked with the usual Aussie fare of red beets, bacon, egg, cheese and various fresh vegetables, including lettuce, carrots and radishes. Your salad is definitely included in an Aussie burger.  We had about an hour to kill before the crock feeding began, so Dick and I decided to head for the gift shop.  On the way we passed a Tasmanian Devil compound and stopped to take a look.  Then Dick noticed that there were zoo keepers in the near by Dingo pen putting leashes on three of the dogs.  We stood by the gate watching.  Because there was movement in the compound I turned on my video camera and started filming.  Imagine my surprise when I zoomed in on the female zoo attendant and recognized Terri Irvin.
The funny part of this story is that when my friend Karen, who lives on the west coast, heard that we were going to Australia she nonchalantly said, “well if you run into Terri Irvin tell her I said Hi, I was her third grade teacher.”
I was amazed, here she was walking toward my camera. Terri and her two colleagues, with the dogs on leash were heading straight to the gate where we were standing and there was no one else around.

 “Are you Terri,” I asked as they came near. “Yes, I am,” she replied as she smiled up at me.
 “Do you remember Karen__________,” I asked. “She was your third grade teacher in Oregon.”
 “Yes, I know her,” she said, recognizing the name immediately, “she is a lovely person.”
 “I was her roommate in Hawaii,” I continued, “she asked me to say hello to you if I saw you.”
 “Small world.” was her reply as she moved on from the gate.  I then asked if we could get a picture for Karen and she said “Sure.”   One of the other zoo keepers took the picture and now I am happy to share that wonderful surprise with my blog followers.
Upon our return home, Karen was just as surprised to hear this story as I was to witness it.

We had seen the crocks lying around but now were anxious to see some action, so we take our ringside seats as the feeders approach the slithering crocks with dangling chicken necks. I got another surprise when my video camera battery went dead just before the loud chomp of the snapping jaws closing around its dinner.

 About two weeks after arriving home we saw an episode of The Crocodile hunter rescuing and transporting this albino kangaroo to the zoo.  He had probably arrived just weeks before we did and by the looks of this picture might have still been recovering from the trauma and shock of the move and rescue.

More surprises to come as the four of us go down the Murray River in a huge houseboat, and one of them involves an airplane.  See you next time as we continue to live life with frivolous ferociousness.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “You gotta love surprises

  1. Please enter a comment when you visit my blog. It is so fun to hear from you.

  2. Love the shorts Wanda! 😉

  3. Aren't they a hoot?? I bought them on Lady Elliot Island in the previous blog. I threw them out shortly after we got home.

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