Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

Watch the Video

Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor today visited Taronga Western Plains Zoo to announce $1 million in funding forconstruction and maintenance and the public debut of Indah, a Sumatran Tiger.

“The $1 million in funding will be used for projects including maintenance work on the Hippopotamus and Savannah Lakes, upgrades to fences at the Hippopotamus and both Black and White Rhinoceros exhibits,” Mr Sartor said.

“It will also be used to upgrade the Maned Wolves platform.

“This funding is a financial boost in addition to the $5.478 million the NSW Government has invested to support the region’s largest tourist attraction.

Member for Dubbo, Dawn Fardell welcomed the new funds saying that they contribute to existing projects being undertaken to build a better Zoo for locals and tourists.

“The ongoing transformation of the Zoo’s front entrance area will create a unique recreational space that will be accessible to the Dubbo community and visitors to the region,” Ms Fardell said.

“The redevelopment of the main entrance is on track to be completed by late 2010.

“This Zoo receives around 200,000 visitors annually and holds over 700 animals.”

Mr Sartor also announced that the three year old female Sumatran Tiger Indah, meaning beautiful in Indonesian, is now on display following her arrival earlier this year from Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

“Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered with only 300 remaining inthe wild so Zoo programs such as the one at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are vital to species survival,” Mr Sartor said.

“The number of all tiger species remaining is less than 4000 and may be as low as 2800.

“Illegal poaching of tiger parts and habitat loss from the expansion of palm oil plantations have been the main reasons for decline.”

Currently 85% of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia and each time a palm oil plantation is established, rainforesthabitat is lost. 

Approximately 90% of the palm oil produced in these countries ends upin food products.

The zoo is home to Australia’s only African elephants and is saving some of the world’s most endangered animals, including Black Rhinos, Cheetahs, and the Przewalski’s Horse.

For more information about the Don’t Palm Us Off campaign or to sign the online petition, visit

Key Facts:

  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a globally-recognised open range zoo located in Dubbo.
  • Palm Oil plantations in Sumatra are now impinging on lowland Sumatran Tiger habitat, pushing the cats back into smaller, harsher mountain habitats.
  • 70% of visitors to Dubbo go there specifically to visit the zoo.
  • You can help by sending off a self-addressed Don’t Palm Us Off postcard available at the Zoo, or go online to sign the petition at
  • The Zoo has approximately 200,000 visitors annually.
  • This conservation program contributes to the NSW State Plan by providing public education and awareness programs about species conservation and management.
Media Release / Blog Tag: 
Media Release / Blog Category: