Werribee Open Range Zoo A Little bit of Africa in Australia

Do you want to experience a typical African feeling while holidaying in Melbourne? How about enjoying an enthralling safari passing through endless grass plains, rivers and wildlife complete with giraffes, monkeys, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs, antelopes and even lions all just minutes away from the bustling city? In order to experience a little bit of Africa in Australia, the perfect place to head to is the Werribee Open Range Zoo which is positioned only 32 kilometres away from the city of Melbourne. Managed and maintained by the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, the Werribee Open Range Zoo lies along Werribee Park’s impressive Werribee River. The main focus of this amazing open zoo is to display wild animals from Asia, North America, Africa and Australia. The safari tour at the Werribee Open Range Zoo is enjoyed by thousands of tourists throughout the year. The guided tour which takes approximately an hour accommodates about 72 visitors in each round. It is the best way for wildlife enthusiasts to explore this extraordinary 200 hectare open zoo and come close to many of its wild animals. The tour generally starts at the Meerkat Bistro and Function Centre. The professional and experienced safari guides provide visitors with valuable information on the behavior of animals as well as their special and unique features. This unforgettable ride passes the African savanna and African waterhole where visitors get to witness hippos, zebras, ostriches, rhinos and giraffes. Visitors to the Werribee Open Range Zoo also have the option to choose from two different trails. Focusing on animals such as lions, cheetahs and Vervet monkeys is the 800 metre long Pula Reserve Walking Trail which takes a journey time of about 40 minutes. The other trail is the Volcanic Plains Walk which is 500 metres long. This trail focuses mainly on Australian wildlife featuring kangaroos and wallabies. Different types of ‘specialty’ safari tours can also be arranged but have to be booked in advance. The African village found at the Werribee Open Zoo is known to be an informative as well as enjoyable feature. The zoo is also home to a learning centre that offers various educational programmes on the geography and history of animals. In order to discover this remarkable tourist attraction in a more convenient and memorable way travelers can choose to stay at a leading Melbourne hotel such as The Langham Melbourne. Renowned as one of the finest Melbourne hotels, The Langham Melbourne features an array of contemporary amenities and professional service for a pleasant stay in the city.

Scented Stuffed Animals

We are not talking taxidermy, we are talking lavender or scented bags in the shape of animals. These scented animals are very easy to make and are great to hang in the wardrobe, push into drawers, hang in the car, you can put them anywhere that you want to create a nice fragrance.

All you need is…
Felt in assorted shades, PVA glue, thread, stuffing, lavender flowers, potpourri, or scented oils for fragrance.

The basis for any of the scented stuffed animals is a circle of fabric. Use a mug to draw around onto a piece of paper to create a pattern piece. Using the pattern cut out two circles of felt. This forms the animals head or body, and also makes up the main part of the bag.

Extras can be slipped between these two circles. Extras may be limbs, ears, horns, tails, or hair. Also tuck a loop of ribbon between the two circles to be used for hanging the scented bag up. Pin the ribbon and the extras into place so that the pins point outwards like the spokes of a bike wheel. This makes it easier to sew.

Sew a row of small stitches around the edge of the circle, making sure that the needle passes through all the layers of fabric. Leave an opening at some point on the circle, preferably where there aren’t any extras hanging out. This hole is to stuff the animal.

If you have access to a lavender bush, you can collect all the dead lavender flowers and leave them upside down in a paper bag to dry. You can use these dries flowers to scent your animal bag. Lightly stuff the animal with packing and add some dried lavender flowers. Similarly you can scent the animal with potpourri.

If you are using scented oils to fragrance the animal, drop the oil essence onto the packing before stuffing the animal. The oil can discolour fabric, so adding it to the stuffing means that it wont spoil the finish of the scented bag.

Lightly stuff the animal and then close up the opening.

To finish, cut out eyes and other features from felt and glue them into place. Animals eyes look really good if you cut a triangle out from the pupil. It gives the animal character.

These animals are delightful, you could make your favourite animals, or endangered animals, or animals from specific areas such as Africa, Australia, India or the North Pole.

I’m sure you will have a lot of ideas for making scented stuffed animals, and I bet you have a lot of fun making them too.

Singapore Zoo Goes African this March Holidays with Africa Hooves and Horns’ Tour

First in Asia to offer white rhino feeding session

Singapore, March 12, 2010 – An African getaway is set to become reality as Singapore Zoo introduces Africa Hooves and Horns, a guided tour for participants to explore the world of the white rhino along -Wild Africa’. The special Behind the Scenes feature will allow participants to come up close with this magnificent species and discover more about the treatment they receive. The tour will commence on 13 March 2010.

The two-hour Africa Hooves and Horns tour will transport visitors via buggy to the Wild Africa trail where they will get to experience the first ever in Asia white rhino feeding session. In addition, visitors will learn more about other animals from the African continent such as the giraffes, lions, zebras, and cheetahs.

-The white rhinoceros is an animal which has survived millions of years. Today, it is considered a threatened species. Vigilance is needed to ensure that it does not go on the brink of extinction. We hope with the new Africa Hooves and Horn programme at Singapore Zoo, more can be gleaned on conservation through the guided tour,- said Ms Isabel Cheng, Director, Sales, Marketing and Communications, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The guided tour, which begins at 12.45pm, will also introduce visitors to various specimens such as a rhino horn and ostrich egg.

Registration fee for adult and child (7 years and above) is at S$100 per person and registration is required one week in advance. All participants of the guided tour will walk away with exclusive tour mementos.

At the same time, those who are up for more feeding action will be delighted to know that in addition to the white rhino session, there will be token feedings with the cheetah, African hunting dog, meerkat, lions and giraffes. The enriching Wild Africa Zone feeding programme will be available every weekend from 5 to 28 March 2010. Complete with keepers’ commentaries, visitors will be able to learn more about the animals’ diets, habits and other interesting facts.

For a comprehensive list and timing of Wild Africa feeding sessions, log on to

Those interested to register for Africa Hooves and Horns can call Singapore Zoo at 62693411 or email

By Any Other Name Cougars Are On The List Of Endangered Animals

Known by 40 different names in English alone, the American cougar is on the decline even though it has a vast natural habitat. With a range stretching from the Yukon to the Andes, these magnificent cats are believed to have traveled to the Americas about 8 million years ago, crossing over to the Southern continent nearly 5 million years later. It is estimated that the current population is about 50,000 strong.

Facing Challenges

The biggest challenge to cougar survival is habitat loss and fragmentation. Generally solitary creatures, a males territory is estimated to span anywhere from 25 to 1000 square kilometers, depending upon the study. Female territories are generally smaller, and while males may share their territory with females, they wont do so with other males.

As large as they are, cougars are not the apex predators in their range; black and brown bears beat them out more often than not and they compete directly with grey wolves when territory overlaps. In the south they compete with panthers which routinely take larger prey. When conflict arises over kills with these other predators, the cougar tends to lose more of its catches than the other species.

Misperceptions Can Cause Harm Too

Cougars rarely attack humans or livestock, but the perception is quite different in certain areas of their range. Unfortunately, even though attacks are so rare, the media does such an enthusiastic job reporting such incidents, they increase fear of these secretive and majestic creatures. Listed with a status of least concern with the World Conservation Union, cougars dont merit protection or assistance at this time.

Conservation Efforts

Only California and Florida prohibit the hunting of cougars to date. Florida is home to a subspecies of the American cougar, the Florida panther, which actually was one of the original endangered species back in the 1970s. It is estimated that only 50-100 animals remain in the state.

However, it is the extensive range and adaptability of these animals that make them of such interest to conservationists. It is hoped that by understanding how cougars manage to live in such close proximity to humans, usually successfully, other conservation programs around the world can benefit as well.

The Zoo House – Wild Garden Sculptures in Beverly Hills!

Those travelling to the sunny state of California in America, have much to see and do. This vast state is home to several locales each offering something different to experience; Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Nevada City, San Diego and Sacramento to name a few! Not to be missed however, when holidaying in California, is a visit to the popular city known as Beverly Hills. >

Known for its exclusive neighbourhoods, famous celebrity residents, upscale shopping and trendy nightlife, this famous city is located next to West Hollywood and is bounded by Los Angeles. Made even more famous by such television shows as “Beverly Hills, 90210”, the city is an ideal place to visit for young and old alike and offers plenty of activities for those exploring its charming streets. The Greystone Mansion and Park, Rodeo Drive shopping district, Beverly Gardens Park, the Electric Fountain, Beverly Hills City Hall, Roxbury Park and Virginia Robinson Gardens are among the attractions worth checking out.

Part of the charm of visiting here is that you will never know what fascinating site of interest you will come across on your adventures. Thos heading to Doheny Drive which can be found near Wilshire Boulevard, should make time to see one of the city’s more unusual homes; the Zoo House!

Located in the Beverly Hills flats area, the Zoo House is so named, due to the intriguing array of animal sculptures that can be found on its lawns. Many of these sculptures are close to life-size and are positioned on the house’s lawn. A proud looking lion staring at those who walk past, a gorilla surveying the scenery in front of him and even a giraffe with its long neck towering above the fence as young ones watch below, are among the animal sculptures you can view here.

Those interested in looking at striking architectural design should also explore Sunset Boulevard. Though you may not see sculptured animals here, you will definitely come across Colonial and Spanish style houses.

Travellers heading to the city and in search of a 5 Star Hotel Beverly Hills that not only offers luxurious comforts but superior service as well can stay at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Apart from stylish accommodation options, this Beverly Hills Luxury Hotel also boasts of an award-winning luxury spa that lets you enjoy some personal pampering.