Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crocodiles et al

Yesterday I attended a vet workshop held at National Zoological Gardens in Colombo.  It was held in conjunction with the Crocodile Specialist Meeting (CSG) being held just outside of Colombo in Negombo.
I was asked to light the traditional lamp as a representative of the delegates.  Also asked were the director of the zoo, chief organiser of the CSG meeting, director of Madras Croc Bank, the 2 vets presenting the workshop etc.  I felt very special!  Me, of all the people attending, probably the least experienced and least known.  It sure is all about who you know…
The traditional lamp
After a presentation by a Brazilian vet, we had lunch then I sneaked out and explored the zoo.

A big cat snoozing - just like a small cat

Lots of animals and some in less then suitable enclosures, but in general (and considering we're in South East Asia) this zoo is amazing.  It is a lush and well cared for piece of land right in the middle of a big city.  Several of the exhibits were well above expected standards and some western zoo's could learn a thing or two from here I am sure.
And a small cat thinking it's a big cat...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sri Lanka! CROCODILES!!!

I made it to Sri Lanka after a 3am start from the Croc Bank with Colin and Gowri.  We were clearly over tired and a bit excited as the giggles and tears of laughter didn't stop for several hours.  Just ask Colin about the emergency exit sign…

We landed in Colombo - what a huge difference to Chennai!  I couldn't believe we were so close, yet Colombo is green and lush, lots of palms and other tropical greenery.  Beautiful!

On the way from the airport, we stopped at McDonalds (a rare occasion for me and usually with lots of trepidation as they don't treat us veggies with much respect there).  I had seen a McD's menu in Chennai and it had several burgers that could be ordered as veg option, but when I arrived in this one, there was only one option.  My heart sank as I hoped it would be as veg friendly as India.

I ordered 'the' veg burger and off we set while chomping our food.  I was surprised beyond belief.  This burger looked better then picture on the menu and tasted amazing!  The patty was crispy and tasty, the bun had substance  - impressed to the extreme!  I've been dreaming of McD's ever since!  But don't worry it won't last long.

The World Crocodile Conference starts today with a steering committee meeting.  But more importantly, we just had lunch.  Lunch was divine, I had a plate of salads that made me feel a little bit healthy again.  My favourite was the pineapple with chilli.  YUM!

Off to the afternoon session now.