Sometimes something happens that makes a day really special. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Our daughter had announced that she was taking us to the Royal Melbourne Zoo. The man of the house has been eager to visit the Zoo for ages as we haven't been there for many years. We were keen to see the new enclosures that have been built to make the animals more comfortable and so were looking forward to our trip. The day before our visit our daughter let me in on the secret she had been keeping - the trip was actually a combined birthday and Christmas gift for me and the treat was that I would take part in the 'Elephant Experience' where I would be able to go behind the scenes to help feed Marli, the baby elephant who is now about 19 months old and also meet her mother. Words can't describe how beautiful the experience was. Like anyone who truly loves animals I hate cages but sadly, for many of the planet's beautiful, endangered animals the spacious, natural enclosures at the Zoo are an insurance policy for the species. I avoid the tendency to anthropomorphize. The most important needs for an animal's welfare are food and safety from predators, an absence of boredom plus the space to enable them to behave like animals. The Zoo is staffed by dedicated keepers who have these needs and the welfare of their charges as their top priority. They are doing a marvelous job. The elephants are fed in a manner that will encourage them to forage, are provided with plenty of space to amble and socialize. What an experience. I loved every minute of my time with them. I can't remember when a birthday gift has given me so much joy. Must go now. I hope your weekend will be a good one. Bye until next time.