I Petted a Python

Today we visited Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia. The zoo has many animals from all over the world, but we concentrated on Australian animals. They are adorable. This first photo is a koala. He is sitting in the tree in the upper right quadrant of the photo. The other photo is a kangaroo lying in the sun.

We were fortunate enough to have a special presentation by one of the zoo’s animal keepers. He chose to try to diminish our distaste for certain animals. Thus, he showed us a diamond python, a lizard, and a large spider, emphasizing how they were not aggressive and had very beneficial services that they provided for society. For instance, spiders eat 95 percent of the world’s insects. Can you imagine having ninety-five percent more mosquitoes or flies?

The python’s name was Monty. He was about two-thirds of his full size. Paul wrapped him around his neck and carried him around for the group to touch. At first I said “No, thanks,” but when he came by again, I decided that this trip is about stretching myself so I petted him. He was warm (it was a hot day) and he was softer than I expected. I thought he would feel more scaly. Anyway, I survived it and feel rather proud of myself. More on Sydney tomorrow as we have two days at sea coming up.

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