The most valuable member of our entourage that day was undoubtedly my friend Tim from Queensland. A former employee of the Australia Zoo and farm boy, he was worth his weight in gold with informative stories and factual tidbits on the inhabitants. Of course along with this position of power was also his enjoyment in secretly scaring us all by violently shaking bushes as we walked past, or gently scratching a stick across the backs of our necks instilling the fear of god into some of our more timid colleagues.
Tim showing us how Steve Erwin did it, and A close encounter with a real oneThe first non-Tim related adrenalin rush of the day was about to present itself to us by way of a very large and hungry fish who was not circling under the zoo handler for a pinch of fish flakes! This gilled fella was about to be fed small silver fish speared onto a long skinny stick. We watched tentatively as the man swished the skewered offerings lightly against the water's surface making lots of gentle ripples, enticing the hungry fish just like an aroma of a yummy meal. Then out of the dark reflective waters - BAM!! - the pieces of silver were pulled off into his mouth faster than our eyes could keep up. Most of the people looking on gasped with surprise at the speed and precision of this big thing. My heart was certainly racing at this point and when I was encouraged to have a go at swishing the dinner around myself, I was not only petrified of the fish's force, but the possibility of dropping the valuable feeding implement into the water! It was truly impressive at just how the bolt of power travelled right up the stick into my hand as the big fish ripped his dinner away. Quite an adrenalin rush which doesn't quite translate into video or pictures but this will give you some idea how idea of how fast it all was: