Minister for Tourism, Jodi McKay will be at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo today to visit four new cheetah cubs, three giraffe calves and the Zoo’s newest arrival - a baby black rhino.
“This baby boom is fantastic news for the Zoo’s conservation efforts and for tourism in regional NSW,” Ms McKay said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to more than 1500 animals from around the world and is widely recognised as Australia’s greatest open range zoo.
“These wonderful new additions offer even more reason to visit this fantastic Zoo, and highlight the Zoo’s ongoing success in its wildlife conservation and management programs.
“Cheetahs and rhino in particular are under threat due to loss of native habitat and poaching, so programs like this are extremely important,” Ms McKay said.
“Unlike their brothers – Sefu and Mokomoto – the two female cheetah cubs - Halla and Kyan - are rare King Cheetah, characterised by a distinctive dark stripe pattern along their spine.
It’s estimated there are less than 10 King Cheetah living in the wild and only 60 in the world population, so this is a major coup for the Zoo and for NSW.
Now that the cubs are on display, Zoo keepers will continue to work closely with them to ensure they grow and develop their social skills and coordination through play,” Ms McKay said.
Member for Dubbo Dawn Fardell said that the newest arrival at the Zoo – a yet to be named black rhinoceros calf, born last month, is expected to be very popular when she goes on display over the Easter school holidays.
“With 11 Black Rhinoceros, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to one of the largest captive populations in the world.
Visitors can see the rare and remarkable baby cheetahs and the giraffe calves every day, and the baby rhino will be on display mid April, in time for the school holidays,” Ms Fardell said.
Ms Fardell said the Taronga Western Plain Zoo was one of the Central West’s most popular tourism attractions.
The NSW Government ran a $100,000 campaign over the summer, in partnership with the Zoo and with NRMA, to encourage more families to visit the region.
The Zoo is currently promoting a great deal for the April school holidays - a free kid’s ticket with very adult ticket, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get the family out to Dubbo and see conservation in action,” Ms Fardell said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW and is open from 9am - 4pm daily. For further information please visit www.taronga.org.au.