Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s major new precinct for the African Lion will take pride of place these school holidays, with an unforgettable experience in store!
The all new Lion Pride Lands precinct is set to launch Easter 2018. Home to the Zoo’s pride of eight majestic African Lions, the vast 3.8-hectare precinct consists of two exhibits, with the visitor area replicating an African Maasai village setting offering incredible views from shelters across to the Lions in their savannah habitat.
“Easter and the school holiday period will be an incredibly exciting time for us as our visitors experience Lion Pride Lands for the first time,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director, Steve Hinks, said.
“There’s been a huge amount of anticipation for this opening for some time now, and our visitors will have seen construction taking shape from the Zoo circuit. We are delighted with the finished product and we’re looking forward to sharing this amazing experience with our visitors!”
Visitors to the Zoo from Easter will be able to spot the Lions prowling the Pride Lands, with an uninterrupted outlook from floor to ceiling glass windows or across a water-filled moat. The pride includes male Lion Lazarus, lioness Maya, two sub-adult females and four juvenile male cubs.
There’s also a thrilling tour on the cards. Visitors can jump on board ‘Pride Lands Patrol’; a purpose-built safari truck, and drive through the Lion’s enclosure on an exciting guided tour running multiple times daily.
“Overall, Lion Pride Lands takes visitors on a journey through an African Maasai village, highlighting the plight of African Lions in the wild and their role as apex predators, living in close proximity to domestic livestock including goats,” Mr Hinks said.
“With Lion populations in the wild experiencing a significant decline in recent years, and just 20,000 Lions remaining in the wild today, Lion Pride Lands will raise much-needed awareness and knowledge about this incredible species.”
And there’s more on offer at the Zoo these holidays, with baby animals galore! Dash, a rare Przewalski’s Horse foal born 1 January, is a must-see as she gallops around the paddock, calling out to the rest of the herd. The foal’s birth represents yet another success for the Zoo’s breeding program for this species, which was once extinct in the wild.
At four-and-a-half months old, rare Southern Black Rhinoceros calf Pampoen is growing in confidence on exhibit with his mother Bakhita. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the only zoo in Australia to breed Black Rhinos, and with two calves born in 2017 has had continued breeding success with this critically endangered species.
Two female Black-handed Spider Monkey babies born late last year can also be seen as they cling to their mothers’ stomachs on Primate Island. Baby Isadora was joined by another female baby at Christmas time; the first of their species to be born at the Zoo in 16 years!
“Visiting the Zoo is the perfect way to get out and about during the school holidays. It’s a special opportunity to see hundreds of animals from across the globe, including our new arrivals, and develop a close connection with some amazing wildlife,” Mr Hinks said.
Behind the scenes tours including a guided Morning Walk and the Savannah Safari will run regularly during the school holidays. Animal Encounters with Meerkats, Giraffe and Tigers can also be booked for up close and personal experiences (bookings essential). The all new pride Lands Patrol can be booked at the Zoo on the day of visit.