Melbourne Zoo – Photographs

Not that I need an excuse to go, but I recently went to Melbourne Zoo in order to take some photos for a photography competition they are holding in collaboration with their Photo Ark Exhibition. It was really hard to narrow it down on what to enter, but I thought why not share some on here! I am no photography expert, but I always have enjoyed it, and am a fan of animal photography. Here are some of my favourite photographs 🙂 (although all the credit needs to go to the gorgeous subjects!)
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You can also view my entry soon on my here and here

Jess xx

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Visiting Werribee Zoo & How you can fight Animal Extinction

At the end of last moth, my parents took me out to Werribee Zoo for the first time as a (very belated) birthday present. I have wanted to visit Werribee Zoo for as long as I can remember, being an African styled, open range zoo. Plus, since they announced the birth of new lion cubs, one of my favourite animals, I just had to go! I have had a love for lions and Africa since I watched The Lion King as a young kid, so I today was a very exciting day for me.

I was so excited seeing the lion family! The little cubs were so cute, the lioness’ were beautiful, and the male was just gorgeous! It was around the afternoon that we saw them, and they were all having a sleep in the sun. So unfortunately they weren’t bounding around being cute, but I was amazed none the less at seeing such beautiful creatures (we sat there for so long just watching them)

I was also very lucky to have the opportunity to do an animal encounter, and feed the giraffes! And what an experience that was! They are magnificent creatures (and even bigger than I would have imagined!) First we got to feed them acacia branches, and they were so strong! I really loved feeding them vegetables out of my hand, because you had more of a connection with them, and they were quite gentle.
The keepers also took us on a tour of other areas of the giraffe enclosure, and told us all about how they are looked after, which was really interesting.
The encounter was $50 and ran for 90 minutes – I can definitely say you get your money worth!

 

I took a lot of photos of all the beautiful animals at the zoo, so I hope you enjoy them 🙂
*The first 2, and the meerkat on the rock were taken by my dad

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I had a really lovely day out at the zoo with my family. The animals I was most excited to see were the lions and the wild dogs, as well as the new baby zebra and baby meerkats, but I loved seeing them all! I also really enjoyed going on a safari ride around the zoo, it had a nice African vibe. And of course, being so close to the giraffes was a truly amazing experience.

I also really want to mention about being a Zoo Member. I became one at the start of this year, and it costs around $7 a month (or you can pay yearly), which gives you unlimited entry to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healsville Sanctuary in Victoria. I’m always happy to visit the zoo, so this definitely saves money. A well as that, money goes towards conservation and helping endangered animals. I love knowing that I am assisting such a great cause, and being a part of something I am so passionate about – all while being able to visit magnificent creatures.

Another great way to show your support is through ‘Beads for Wildlife’. By purchasing these beautiful, handmade bead products, you can support families and endangered wildlife in Northern Kenya. Such a great cause – I bought a little giraffe and my mum bought an elephant.

The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves 

– Jane Goodall

Jess xx


Related Links:

 

 

Meeting Dan and Phil!

Yesterday was a huge mix of emotions! I was finally able to meet two people who have had such a huge impact, and brought so much happiness into my life – Dan Howell and Phil Lester!

I have been a huge fan of these two dorks since 2013 (or late 2012), when I was on a gap year for my mental health, between high school and university. It was around this time I was discovering YouTubers, when I kept coming across gifs on tumblr of two entertaining (and very cute) guys.
I decided to check out their videos, and I haven’t looked back since. They were so funny and entertaining, and had so much personality and individualism. I loved their sense of humor, and how awkward and nerdy they were (just like me!)

It has been since then, that I have been waiting for them to come to Australia, where I could have the chance to meet them. I was so excited when I heard they were bringing their tour, The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire, to Australia, and I was there at 10am ready to buy tickets! I was absolutely heartbroken when meet and greet tickets sold out instantly, and by the time I had to give up on trying to get them, most of the general tickets still available were at the back. Unfortunately, when a second show went on sale, I didn’t have the money. I was so upset that I would miss out on even seeing them, and thought it would be ages before they traveled back to Australia.

So I couldn’t believe it when they announced the following year that they would be returning! Even though I really didn’t have the money, I couldn’t miss out on seeing these two people who made me smile so much. After an hour and a half, and many problems occurring with ticket sales (but that’s a whole other story!), I managed to get a hold of a meet and greet ticket – I would be meeting Dan and Phil!

Now we reach yesterday.. It’s such a weird feeling meeting people you have admired behind a computer screen for so many years. After buying tickets, I knew the day would one day come, but at the same time you feel it isn’t really going to ever happen, they would be right there. In person.

Dan and Phil’s meet and greet was first, and we were all sat down in the auditorium waiting our turn. I had met some lovely new friends, but I was becoming more nervous as time went on! After what felt like only minutes, my time to meet them had finally come..! I had a few ideas for poses, but that went out the window thanks to all my overwhelmed feelings! (hopefully next time)

So this is how it went down. Excuse the cliche and cringe!

Dan was the first I saw when I walked in, and I actually ran towards him – probably nearly knocking him over. He held his arms out and we hugged. Then I turned to Phil to hug him, and I could feel myself begin to break down. I covered my face, and then Dan offered to take the selfie, I think he could see how overwhelmed I was. I laughed and said yes, him saying that he will probably blink or something. So I stood between them and he took multiple photos, everything happened so quickly I didn’t even know what face I was pulling, and I don’t remember any exchange of the phone.

I then turned back to them and thanked them for showing me that even though I’m 23, I can still be awkward and nerdy, and be happy with myself. I turned to Phil and he looked so genuine with his head tilted to the side and such caring eyes. Dan then said not too worry as they will always be awkward for me! I then gave them each one more hug before having to say goodbye.

And here comes the awkward inner fangirl dialogue.

To be honest, I don’t really remember what was actually said by any of us – it was all just a blur of excitement and nerves! One thing I do remember is that Dan was incredibly talkative and lovely, and Phil’s hugs just made me melt. I didn’t want to let go of either of them.

I even think that I was so freaking nervous to speak to Phil, that I didn’t fully appreciate him being there enough. He also seemed quite shy. And they were tall! However, I think I had dramatized my expectations, as I was imagining them to be taller. Plus, they were both incredibly handsome in person.

I was so nervous, that I couldn’t think of anything that I had planned to say, so I’m a bit annoyed at myself for that. I think if I was a bit more confident, I would have been able to have more of a conversation with them. I hope they weren’t freaked out by how emotional I was, I would have  liked to have played itimg_9891.jpg cool, but it seems that just isn’t my style.

They also signed my DAPGO book, which somehow ended up back in my hands? Plus, I wrote them a short letting thanking them for all they have done for me, so I do hope they have the chance to read it.

I hate how quickly the whole thing was over! This massive build up, only to be over in a matter of seconds. You feel like you always have to be rushed on quickly with these things, which does suck because you do pay so much (not that Dan and Phil made me feel like that). Plus, I’ve woken up feeling quite sad this morning that it’s all over just like that, and in a way I miss them. I will say one thing though, I definitely think the TATINOF meet and greet tickets were much more justified.. but this is a positive post, so I won’t get into that.

I’m just so grateful that I had that chance to meet them both!

Oh! And their set!

While it was only 20 minutes, Dan and Phil had me smiling from ear to ear while they were on stage! They did a Dan vs Phil, which consisted of five rounds – Australian accents, blindfold drawing, guessing the marsupial mating call, the 7 Second Challenge, and wombat launching – apparently an ancient Olympic sport in Australia.

Both of them have such a great presence on stage, and put on a very entertaining performance! I was laughing so much, and truly enjoyed myself. As one of the headliners, I think  they should have had a longer set time – but at the end of the day, it could have been their decision, and I can respect that.

Love the iconic spelling mistake. And what works of art. 

On the very off chance that Dan and Phil read this, I just wanted to say the biggest thank you. Not only for being so lovely and understanding when meeting me, and for putting on a very entertaining show, but for having such a huge impact on my life. Meeting you two awkward nerds, has made this awkward nerdy so so happy! You have truly given me a happy life, and I cannot thank you enough for making me laugh and smile. You show me that even though I’m 23, I can be awkward and nerdy, and that’s okay! Watching your videos allows me to forget about my anxiety and depression, and just be happy. I love you both so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(I also wrote this in a little letter I gave them, on Peter Rabbit stationary)

I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Australia, and that you come back for your own tour real soon (particularly Melbourne) – after a much deserved break!

Being a fan of you is the most fun I’ve ever had.

Jess xx

“It’s a good thing to be strange. Normalness leads to Sadness” – Phil Lester

Related Links:
AmazingPhil
Daniel Howell 
DanAndPhilGames