Thursday, 3 November, 2022

Lions in daring Sydney zoo escape; Egypt marks King Tut centenary; Asteroid in Earth’s orbit; and Dobby rests in peace. 



King Tut facts and stuff:

King cobra facts and stuff:


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There was high drama at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo yesterday morning after five lions escaped their enclosure and wandered freely about the park.


Parents and kids sleeping at the zoo overnight as part of its ‘Roar and Snore’ program were woken in their tents and told to leave all their belongings and run for their lives as park rangers attempted to coax the wandering big cats back into their enclosure.


The five lions – Ato, the king of the pride, and four of his one-year-old cubs – staged their daring escape sometime in the early hours of yesterday morning – with CCTV cameras confirming they were all inside their exhibit during the night. 


With the expert coaxing of zoo staff, four of the lions, including Ato – calmly made their way back into their main enclosure. One of the cubs wasn’t quite so keen to go back behind the fence – and had to be tranquilised.


That means the cub was shot with a tranquiliser dart, which made it go to sleep temporarily so zoo handlers could bundle it up and return it to the exhibit with its brothers and sisters.


Taronga’s mum and dad lion couple, Maya and Ato, gave birth to five cubs . Khari, Luzuko, Malika, Zuri and Ayanna last August. 


There was no word on where mum Maya was while her mate and four of her kids were off adventuring. Probably asleep and enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet.


The zoo was open as normal yesterday – with the loin enclosure understandably off-limits to visitors.  Zoo officials have said they will launch an investigation to find out how the lions escaped – but were at pains yesterday to point out that even though they had made it out of their enclosure, there was still a big fence between the animals and suburbs of Sydney that surround the park.


Sounds like something straight out of the movie Madagascar, right? Alex the lion would be so proud ..



It’s been quite the week for animal jailbreaks … earlier this week the people of Stockholm in Sweden were on high alert after a seven foot long king cobra escaped its enclosure at a local zoo by squeezing out through a light fixture. 

King cobras are venomous – and not the sort of snake you want to stumble across.

Luckily though, King Hiss, as he is known, didn’t stray far. He was located in the cavity between two walls close to his terrarium and eventually made his own way back in.

A terrarium is a glass enclosure for plants or animals. Maybe you have one for a pet snake at your house. If you do – remind me to never visit …



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Egypt – home of the ancient pharaohs  – where one of the world’s most famous archeological finds is being celebrated. 

Have you ever heard of King Tut? Or King Tutenkhamen as he is otherwise known? He was an Egyptian pharaoh – who was made king at the age of nine and died ten years later, back in 1322 – some seven-hundred years ago.

The reason he’s famous is because of his mummy. No – not his mother – but how he was mummified and buried – in accordance with Egyptian custom at the time. In King Tut’s case, his body was encased in a stunning gold coffin – or sarcophogas. Check out the link in today’s episode notes to photos – you’ll recognise it the minute you see it. 

So this week marks the 100 year anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb – deep beneath the baked yellow earth in a place called the Valley of The Kings in the country of Egypt. 

To mark the occasion: a brand new museum is about to open in Giza, next to the Pyramids – in which the treasures of King Tut’s tomb will be one of the main attractions. Putting it on the bucket list as we speak. 




Sound the alarms … head for the hills … lock yourself in your basement, stat. 

Astronomers have discovered an asteroid that’s big enough to wipe out life on earth as we know it spinning around in space.


And get this: it’s orbit is on a path to intersect with Earth’s orbit. 


Agggghhhh ! 


But don’t worry: we’ll be safely on the other side of the Sun when it crosses our orbit – meaning we don’t have to worry about a collision.


The asteroid is 1.5 kilometres in length – which, when compared to the diameter of the Earth at 12,700 kms seems really small, right? But in space terms, that’s big enough that if it did smash into the earth’s surface it could  kick up enough dust and pollutants into the atmosphere that it would block out the sun – causing the mass extinction of life on earth. 


So that’s cheery, isn’t it? 




In less armageddon-y news – Dobby the house elf will be allowed to rest in peace – after authorities in Wales finally decided yesterday not to move his grave.

What in the world of boy wizards am I talking about?

I’m talking about Dobby – the famous house elf that belonged to Harry Potter.

Keen fans of the books and movies will remember Dobby died and was buried by Harry on a beach. The beach used in the movies is in Wales – and ever since its location has been known, fans have flocked to it to leave socks as tribute to the fictional elf. As per Harry Potter book lore – giving a house elf a piece of clothing is the only way to set it free. Problem was: so many socks and other tributes were being left on the beach – it was messing with the natural environment. So the local authorities briefly floated the idea of moving Dobby’s grave site – but have since decided instead to request people who visit don’t bring their dirty socks to leave behind. Sounds fair enough to me.



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening … 

  1. How many lions escaped from their enclosure at Taronga Zoo yesterday?
  2. Name the famous Egyptian pharaoh whose magnificent burial tomb and sarcophagus were discovered 100 years ago?
  3. Name the Harry Potter house elf whose grave will remain on a Welsh beach?





It’s November 3 … 52 days to Christmas … I’m starting to get excited! It’s also National Sandwich Day … the staple of lunch boxes all over the nation. What’s on your sandwich today?


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Henry from Craigburn, Dom from Tumut, Logan from Mildura, Eliot from Warranwood, Teddy from Monavale, William from Caringbah, Camille from The Gap, Isla from Moorooka, Charli D from Wagga Wagga and Teri from Kodi Island. 


And belated birthday shout outs go to…Michael from Carlton, Tayla and Kyan from Floraville and Tas from Merimbula. 


Classroom shout outs go to… class 5/6 orange and Mrs Hilton at North Wagga Public School, class 6H and Ms Hayward at Preston West Primary School, class 5/6E and Mrs Elmir at Carlton Public School, grade 4 and Mr Lee at Caringbah North Public School, grade 5 and Ms Kotsirasat at Dandenong South Primary School, year 3/4 and Miss McVay at Tent Hill Lower State School and lastly Ms O’Rourke’s class at Brandon State School in Burdekin.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Five
  2. King Tutenkhamen
  3. Dobby