Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park ~ Phone: (02) 43751100
Our Address ~ 1 Darkinjung Road, cnr Peats Ridge Road, Calga NSW, Australia 2250 ~

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    Why a Petting Zoo?

    Yes you can feed the goats and alpacas and their farmyard friends.

    We've got miniature 'big' animals and giant 'little' animals so everyone is just the right size. Miniature goats Milo and Monty, Waffles the (not so) miniature pig, Monster and Snuggles our friendly rabbits and their guinnea pig friends, Macha and Picchu the alpacas who are the smallest members of the camelid family, a whole lot of chickens, very chatty geese, a couple of free-ranging peacocks and three friendly turkeys.

    When you feed the farmyard animals, you are helping all the other animals

    You are welcome to feed the animals in the farmyard. Everyone except Waffles the Pig, that is, because Waffles is a really greedy piggy and we have to keep him on a strict healthy diet so he doesn't get even bigger! Our farmyard family are all domestic animals and in a safe area where we can manage their behaviour. They do get a bit naughty sometimes - the goats like to eat the paper bags the food is in so we suggest that you hold the bags up high for little people, and just give them the food in their hands to feed to the goats.

    When you buy a bag of food for the goats and alpacas in the petting zoo, the money we raise is used to pay for food and vets bills for all of the other animals too.

    Why it is so important that you never feed the kangaroos and emus

    Some zoos will let you feed their animals. At Walkabout Park we ask you to only feed the farmyard animals, and not to feed the others, especially not the kangaroos and emus. There are many reasons why this is important.

    Healthy people food is good for people, but it can be really bad for animals. Take cabbage for example. We think of it as healthy, but it is poisonous for some animals. And even when food is not dangerous for the animals, it is important that we don't interfere with their natural diets or they might not eat the wild food that they need to have a balanced diet, or they might just eat too much and get fat and unhealthy.

    Even more imporantly, though, is feeding wild animals affects their behaviour

    When people hand-feed animals, the animal learns that it is okay to take food out of people's hands. You are teaching the animal that it can take any food out of anyone's hands at any time. Have you been to a zoo where the emus chase the people, or the kangaroos scratch the people? This is usually because they can see or smell food on the person and they want to help themselves to it. By not feeding the animals, you are helping to make sure that they don't learn to grab food from people.

    Imagine if a kangaroo or emu grabbed food away from a small child. Not only would it be scary for the child, but it might even be dangerous. If our kangaroos or emus started to do this, we might have to send them away to live in a cage in a zoo. Walkabout Park is a wonderful sanctuary for animals where they can go wherever they like. It would be tragic if they had to be removed because their behaviour had become unsafe.

    Please help us to keep our animals friendly and gentle so that they can stay living free at Walkabout Park forever.

    Where domesticated animals (farm animals and pets) fit in

    Farm and domestic animals are very important in Australia. They may not have evolved on this magnificent continent, but they have become very important to our way of life.

    However, animals that have not evolved here can be destructive and dangerous to the survival of native animals and plants. This is because their adaptations may not be consistent with the adaptations of native species.

    It is very important that, if you do decide to have animals like these at home, you take responsible steps to may sure that they don't damage the environment.

    This is a great place for the kids to learn about being responsible pet-owners.

    Impact that pets might have on the environment

    Some animals eat the roots as well as the plants, so that they can't regrow.

    Some animals have hard hooves that can damage the ground surface and make soil erosion more likely.

    Some animals eat the bark off the trees which is like taking your skin off - trees can't live without their bark.

    Some animals compete with others for food so that, during times when food is scarce, there isn't enough to go around and all the animals struggle to find enough to eat.

    Some animals compete with others for places to live, taking their nests or burrows, so they can't find a safe place to stay warm, hide from predators and raise their young/

    Some animals hunt other animals as they need to eat them for food.

    Choose to have pets that are less likely to be a threat to native animals and plants.

    Desex animals so that, if they do escape into the wild, they are not going to have gazillions of babies which will add to the pressure on native species.

    If you have a pet that might hunt other animals, keep it indoors - especially at night when so many native animals are active, and when you're not around to notice if your pet is hunting an animal.

    Keep your pet on a lead when it is not in your yard.



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