Work will soon begin on the first project in Taronga Zoo’s $150 million Centenary Master Plan to revitalise the Zoo over the next 10 years.
The program announced by the NSW Government in March includes Taronga-funded and government co-funded projects to transform visitor experiences and create vital animal habitats over the next 10 years.
The first projects will create important new exhibits for Sumatran Tigers and Australian wildlife, breeding facilities to support conservation programs and unparalleled opportunities for visitors to engage with wildlife.
Construction is scheduled to start in February on the Sumatran Tiger experience, an expansive new exhibit that will enhance Taronga’s breeding program for this critically endangered species.
“This new exhibit is the natural expansion of our efforts to help save the Sumatran Tiger, providing a home for up to eight tigers and their cubs. It will significantly increase the tigers’ living areas and include a purpose-built maternity den,” said Taronga’s Director of Visitor Experience, Paul Maguire.
“The exhibit will also be a great place for visitors to get close to these mysterious big cats and learn how simple shopping choices can help preserve the tigers’ natural habitat.”
Taronga’s tiger family, including mother Jumilah and her offspring Kembali, Sakti and Kartika, have moved temporarily to Taronga Western Plains Zoo during the construction.
The Sumatran Tiger experience is scheduled to open in mid 2017.
Taronga has also unveiled plans for the revitalisation of the Australian Habitat, which will be delivered in two phases to be completed in 2018 and 2021. Phase 1 includes the Taronga Wildlife Retreat, a new overnight conservation experience, focussing on Australian wildlife and Indigenous culture.
The proposed Retreat will incorporate five small-scale accommodation pods nestled into the landscape and surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary featuring wallabies, echidnas, bandicoots, Platypus, Koalas and Freshwater Eels.
“The Taronga Wildlife Retreat builds on our existing overnight conservation experiences like Roar and Snore, which are proven to be a powerful way to influence people’s attitudes and behaviours towards wildlife conservation,” said Paul.
“The Retreat will increase awareness about our native animals and the threats these species face by allowing people to enjoy up-close encounters with rarely seen animals with our Keepers and Indigenous guides.
“The design will be sensitive to the local site and built to high environmental standards. This includes preserving existing views from Bradley’s Head Road and Sydney Harbour by ensuring the highest point of the small-scale pods is no higher than the first floor of the existing Taronga Function Centre.”
» The new Sumatran Tiger experience will include three distinct exhibit areas and allow the Zoo to expand its tiger group to eight of these critically endangered big cats.
» The enhanced Australian Habitat will be delivered in two phases, with the first phase completed in 2018 and the second phase completed in 2021.
» Like the existing overnight conservation programs, the Taronga Wildlife Retreat will be operated and fully funded by Taronga.
» All revenue generated by the Taronga Wildlife Retreat will support the care of Taronga’s animals and conservation initiatives both in Australia and overseas.
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