Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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What’s happening at Taronga?
As part of a 10 year Centenary Master Plan upgrade, Taronga has submitted plans to build an Australian Habitat Exhibit (phase 1) which includes an overnight conservation experience called the Taronga Wildlife Retreat.  Additionally planning is underway for a major new Sumatran Tiger adventure, supporting the breeding program for this critically endangered species and an Institute for Science and Learning, which will be a centre of excellence for Taronga’s education and scientific research endeavours.

What is the Taronga Wildlife Retreat?
The Taronga Wildlife Retreat builds on the success of unique overnight conservation programs like Roar n Snore at Taronga Zoo and Zoofari Lodge at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. It’s designed to create connections between guests and Australia’s extraordinary wildlife by allowing people to spend time in the heart of Taronga Zoo with Keepers and Indigenous guides.

Central to the Retreat concept is the opportunity it will provide for people to learn about native wildlife, the threats Australian species face, and be inspired to become conservation champions.

How does it create connections?
Overnight experiences at Taronga’s Zoos including wildlife encounters and guided tours are a great way to influence people’s attitudes and behaviour towards conservation.

For example, upon arrival, 48% of Roar and Snore overnight visitors indicated they intended “to make a conscious effort to do things to help conserve the environment”. Following their stay, this increased to 71%.

What experiences will the Taronga Wildlife Retreat offer?
A visit to the Taronga Wildlife Retreat will include poignant encounters with some of Australia’s rarest and fascinating wildlife. At dusk, animals like Potoroos, echidnas and Bettong will emerge from their nests and surround guests for their nightly feed.

Visitors will also be able to put on gum boots and wade through a creek, using tongs to feed Long-finned Eels.

The Guest Lodge is where Platypus will emerge each evening and guests will learn about actions they can take to help Australia’s threatened wildlife.

Are the animal exhibits only for people staying at the Retreat?
The Retreat is part of the revitalisation of the Australia Habitat at Taronga Zoo and will wrap around a wildlife sanctuary housing animals such as wallabies, bandicoots, echidnas, Platypus and Koalas.

General Zoo visitors will also be able to enjoy viewing these animals from dedicated vantage points on special paths.

Who will run the retreat?
The Taronga Wildlife Retreat will be funded and managed by Taronga.

 How is the project being funded?

The Taronga Wildlife Retreat will be self-funded as Taronga is raising money for the project independently. Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation and any revenue coming from the Wildlife Retreat will help us to maintain the highest standards for the animals in our care and support Taronga’s critical conservation and breeding programs.

Where will the Taronga Wildlife Retreat be?

The Taronga Wildlife Retreat is planned to be located on the Eastern side of the Zoo which has reasonably steep topography. The small-scale accommodation pods are nestled into the hillside and wrap around a wildlife sanctuary. The accommodation pods vary in height from two to four storeys with the highest of the pods located at the bottom of the sanctuary, however by working with the topography, none of the accommodation pods will be higher than the first floor of the existing Taronga Centre, and they have been sensitively designed to blend in with the native environment including vertical gardens.

The Taronga Wildlife Retreat includes five small-scale accommodation pods, with 58 rooms and four suites.

Will this take up a portion of the Zoo?

It is planned that the Australian Habitat (phase 1) and Taronga Wildlife Retreat will be built in an area of the zoo which is predominately not open to the visiting public and currently has various back-of-house storage facilities. The development will open up additional areas of Australian flora and fauna that has not been open to the visiting public in the past.

 When will construction start?

Pending a range of planning approvals, work on the Taronga Wildlife Retreat should start around mid-2017.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION SESSION

There are exciting changes occurring at Taronga Zoo and we want to keep you informed.

We will be holding a Community Information Session on upcoming projects including the Australia Habitat Phase 1 revitalisation and the Taronga Wildlife Retreat, and welcome your attendance.

Where: Taronga Function Centre, Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Road, Mosman
When: Tuesday 15 December, between 6pm and 7.30pm.

You are welcome to drop in anytime.

Project information including artist impressions and maps will be available to view. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer your questions.

We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information please contact us on:

T 02 9978 4714
E buildingbetterzoo@zoo.nsw.gov.au

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