Conceding that it might be a while before he can go on safari in Africa, a local wildlife enthusiast has commenced his search for Australia’s version of “The Big 5” at Westerfolds Park. Traditionally, “The Big 5” consists of lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffaloes, and the spotting and/or hunting of each of those species is said to deliver the ultimate wildlife experience.

Setting his sights a little closer to home for the time being, Darren Tomlinson said he’s currently trying to notch the Aussie version of the famous safari big five: consisting of the kangaroo, wombat, koala, echidna and platypus. Still in the infancy of his search, Tomlinson said daily visits to the sprawling park this week have so far ticked off the kangaroo and wombat component of the list, while the other three animals are remaining elusive so far.

Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Tomlinson said, “Sure, on paper that might seem like a poor result in the first week, but I’m actually pretty happy with it. Seeing a big fat wombat in its natural habitat is pretty awe-inspiring, and has given me the fuel I need to continue my search.”