New Zealand is a peaceful country and Christchurch is a beautiful city full of flowers everywhere; that’s why Christchurch is often called the Garden City of the world. Just roam in and around the city and you will be greeted by vast area of parks within few kilometers surrounded by various types of flowers and trees. The roads are also well-maintained with separate pedestrian path and bicycle strip by the side. People here often say that riding bicycle is the most dangerous thing and that the highest accidents are due to people carelessly riding bicycle. However, ever since I reached here, I have been relying on bicycle and it has been pretty much convenient. Thanks to almighty, there has not been major accidents albeit minor ones at the beginning when we were just getting used to it. Otherwise even if we take metro bus (to institute), we have to walk about fifteen minutes from the nearest bus stand and fifteen minutes is hell lot of time.
Anyway last Friday started our second mid-course break for ten days, we five of us and Ugyen sir decided to take further the service of bicycle to Orana animal park (Zoo) which is about 20 km from place of our residence. Ugyen Namgay sir is the only Bhutanese who has PR here and works at here in Air New Zealand. He previously worked in Drukair Corporation Ltd. He has been here since 2008 and we are in fact very lucky to have met him. He is jolly and full of humor and has been very good to us. He has helped us with everything and we are indeed very much indebted to him. Last Friday he was day off from the work and he took us to the zoo and we decided to ride bicycle. It was a wonderful and memorable trip.
Orana animal park is a beautiful park and there are lots of animals of which most were the first time for me to see in real including the tiger, lion, giraffe, gorilla, zebra, cheetah, rhinoceros and most special one- the Kiwi bird. I was particularly fascinated by the stories of tiger and the Kiwi bird which I would like to highlight. The two tigers at the park are Sumatran (Sumatra Island in Indonesia) tigers which are listed as critically endangered species. There are brothers brought to the zoo at the age of two. It was feeding time for tiger when we reach and was such a good scene to witness how it walks and the way it roars. It was captivating to see how tigers try to defend their territory by urinating, a sign of the demarcating the territory. They live alone unlike lions who dwells in groups.
Then it was the kiwi bird which has a special connection with New Zealand. Kiwis are the significant national icon; you know New Zealanders are called kiwis by the way. It is a small flightless bird which normally comes out at night (nocturnal) and is the only bird which has nostril at the end of their long bill. They have very strong smell that attracts dogs that kills them. So dogs are the worst threats to their survival. It is said like the kiwis hatch hundreds of eggs but only two to three percent of it survives.
We weren’t that lucky to watch closely the other animals as they all lazily busking sun after heavy meal, but still, it was a memorable and adventurous day. We came back exhausted and weird enough I was thinking if keeping animals in such way- captive as in zoos is any more good or bad I mean if one is to weigh between pros and cons? What do you feel? Seeing most of the animals lying under the warm sun, i thought like they are lucky in one way as they don’t have to hunt although their freedom is limited. Nevertheless I hope that people who visit such places will think beyond the adventure and fun to protecting the species some of which are critically endangered and others threatened.
some of the pictures I took in my mobile phone: