San Diego

A Piece of Australia Comes to Escondido

The San Diego Safari Park has a new exhibit with kangaroos, wallabies and more

San Diego is going down under! The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido has a brand new exhibit called "Walkabout Australia." 

The 3.6 acre habitat features kangaroos, wallabies, birds and other Australian animals. It is now open to the public. 

"When you walk around here you have the kangaroos and wallabies coming right up to you," said Rick Schwartz, ambassador of the San Diego Zoo. "It is absolutely gorgeous." 

You'll also see animals that might seem familiar, but are not. Many think a Tawny Frogmouth, one of the ambassador animals, is an owl at first, but it's actually a different kind of bird. 

"He's what we refer to as cryptic in coloration. He kind of looks like tree bark," said Missy Belmer, lead animal trainer at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. "So hopefully if he sits nice and still in a tree a prey item, like moths and bugs, might come along, not notice him, and he doesn't have to expend much energy chasing it down." 

You'll also learn fun facts about other Australian animals. For example, contrary to popular belief, not all kangaroos have pouches, just the females.  

There's no fences or enclosures between you and the animals, so experts add be respectful of those that live there. 

"We want this interactive exhibit to teach visitors about respecting nature," added Schwartz. "How to enjoy animals from both up close and far away. When you're out in the wild if you see an animal, enjoy it from a distance: if it comes up to you, that's a special treat." 

The exhibit is great for all ages and is included in the price of your entry ticket. 

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