My five year old has a bucket list.
It mainly involves encounters with deadly animals. I’d lay the blame squarely with Steve Backshall (presenter of BBC’s ‘Deadly 60’) but ever since I saw him in lycra on ‘Strictly come Dancing’, I could never be cross with him for anything.
No, it’s my fault really. For letting my son believe that anything is possible. He watches a documentary about Kakadu National Park, is engrossed and asks if we can see it for ourselves. I say “yes” and I make sure we do. He comes to me and asks “Mum, do you think we will ever go to the Barossa Valley?” I ask him why he wants to go and he answers “I read about the leaves on the grape vines fluttering like flags in the breeze and I’d like to see that”. And so we put The Barossa Valley on our list.
His number one, must do, talk-constantly-about bucket list item is to see his all time favourite animal, the world’s largest lizard – the Komodo Dragon. (Now you know why there’s a great big lizard in the header up there.)
I’m not a massive fan of captive animals and try not to throw my money in the direction of organisations that keep them. But when I noticed a brochure for San Diego Zoo that stated they had a Komodo dragon in their reptile section, my mind immediately started racing. I thought about all the time, money and food-poisoning I could save myself by not having to actually go to Komodo Island in Indonesia to see one in it’s natural habitat. I rang the zoo just to double-triple check that they did indeed have a Komodo Dragon on display and was informed they actually had TWO. The tickets were booked, lunch packed, sunscreen applied and we were on the shuttle in under an hour.
Of course, even thought the boy’s day/year was made, we still couldn’t leave without seeing every.single.animal in the zoo (handful of pictures below). They threw us out at closing.
As we exited via the gift store, I asked the intrepid one what his favourite part of the day was. His reply? “I really liked seeing the Komodo Dragons, Mum… but I still want to go to Indonesia to see one IN THE WILD!”