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    Canterbury MuseumCanterbury Museum Christchurch, New Zealand
    The Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand is located in the city's cultural district and was started in 1867 as a provincial museum that has grown to include the nation's diverse natural and human histories, becoming well known and internationally visited. It houses over 2 million collection objects and specializes in the stories of early Maori, Antarctic exploration and European settlement that is housed in a historic place that would endure some damage in the earthquake of 2011, in its facade, but is still structurally sound, with over 95% of its collections intact. At the front of the museum, there was a statue of William Rolleston that would fall of its plinth in the quake and would cause the museum to be closed for repairs. The museum contains many outstanding galleries that include an Asian, Bird, Iwi Tawhito and Nga, Antarctic adventures, real people, natural history center, Tales of Canterbury's heritage and real design. Since it has only been a few months since that devastating earthquake, the museum might be closed for some time, so before heading there, be sure to inquire as to their status so when you arrive in Christchurch, you won't be disappointed if it is still closed.

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    Orano Wildlife ParkOrano Wildlife Park Christchurch, New Zealand
    This park is a open-range zoo that is found on the outskirts of Christchurch, New Zealand that opened in 1976 and is run by the Orana Wildlife Trust. It sits on about 200 acres of land, that are more park-like than any other zoo, and offers outstanding animal encounters that will be sure to thrill and excite you beyond any zoo or animal park that you have ever visited. It began as an open range sanctuary for endangered species, giving them enclosures that were as natural as their previous wildlife homes, with streams, banks and moats used as barriers to keep the animals away from humans, but as the same time, giving visitors a closer experience than any other zoo. More than four hundred animals roam the range, representing 70 different species. Conservation is a byword here, since the name Orano is a Maori word for welcome or place of refuge. The park has become recognized as a captive breeding ground for endangered exotic animals as well as the nation's rare fauna. Their walk through aviary is one of the biggest in the country, offering sanctuary to many of the country's endangered species, like the kiwi with three different species, that include the North Island that is the least endangered, the great spotted and the little spotted. African animals include the Chapman's giraffe, meerkats, lions, Rothchild's giraffes, cheetahs, wild dogs, Southern white rhinos, scimitar-horned oryx, sable antelope, ring-tailed black and white ruffled lemurs, springbok, ostriches, eastern waterbuck, crested porcupine, addra gazelle and Greek tortoise to name just a few.  As you can see by the image to the right, where a picture is worth a thousand words, it is going to be a very exciting and interesting journey as you travel through the park, and imagining all the fantastic animals that you'll encounter. You will be able to feel, see, hear and smell these wild animals in a way that it very safe to you and your family, as well as the animals, but also allow you to see up close and personal many great animals that you could never enjoy this close.

May 12, 2011