It was almost too much for Norm the Koala to Bear.
Norm was the centre of attention at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo today as some of the athletes competing in the Worrells Women’s NSW Open got up close and personal with one of Australia’s favourite marsupials.
And like the pro he is, Norm took it all in his stride.
The photo op was part of a tour of the world famous zoo for the players, who got to experience first-hand the joys of hand-feeding giraffes and elephants in an open, free-range environment.
For some of those on hand, the experience was exhilarating, while for one or two of the others, it was a hair-raising experience.
The visit was also a double bonus for England’s Felicity Johnson. Not only was today her birthday, but she had never fed giraffes before.
“It’s my first time here in Dubbo and to come and meet Norman the Koala was the highlight.
“We fed some giraffes with carrots, saw some elephants and then we met Norm. It will be difficult to top this morning,” she smiled.
American Beth Allen was thrilled to be involved with the experience.
“I’d never fed a giraffe, so that was a fun experience. They are so big that it is a little bit intimidating, but they were super friendly and kind animals, so it was awesome,” she added.
Even the Australian contingent seemed in awe of the experience. Nadine White said the tour was a highlight and an example of what Australia’s rural community has to offer despite the effects of the torrid drought.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity even for Australian players to see what a country town like Dubbo has to offer.
“It’s great for the town and the golf course, to be able to welcome a field of this size, and appreciate the struggles that a country town like this has gone through in terms of the drought.”
“You can see how hard the greenkeepers have worked to get the course how it is, and I hope that everyone appreciates it because they would have put in a lot of hours to get it like this.”
The Worrells Women’s NSW Open gets underway at 7.15 am on Thursday, when the players will be the star attractions, displaying their skills and talents to a new audience in rural New South Wales.