Posted on 07th January 2020 by Media Relations
This year is the start of a new decade but before 2020 rolls on too much Taronga Western Plains Zoo is taking a look back at the past decade and the highlights, changes and achievements that shaped the Zoo over this period.
The Zoo changed a lot over the 10 years with the Savannah Visitor Plaza and free access area creating a new opportunity for people to enjoy the Zoo with visitors having the option to see the primates and enjoy a meal or a coffee without entering the Zoo circuit.
“As part of the change to the Zoo’s front entrance, a new discounted local membership program was launched and saw the Zoo membership numbers increase dramatically,” said Zoo Director, Steve Hinks.
New precincts in the Zoo grounds were constructed including the Lion Pride Lands and Wild Herds, with the Lion Pride Lands being the biggest investment for the Zoo in the decade and the first time the Zoo circuit changed since it opened in 1977. Both Lion Pride Lands and Wild Herds are now a real highlight for visitors.
Staying overnight at the Zoo changed with the redevelopment and refurbishment of Zoofari Lodge. The redevelopment and the inclusion of new luxury lodges overlooking the Savannah exhibit really put Zoofari Lodge on the map as one of the best unique accommodation offerings in Australia.
Two new accommodation options were also added with the self-contained Savannah Cabins and Billabong Camp providing visitors with different ways to stay at the Zoo.
Three new conservation breeding programs for commenced at the Zoo, including the Plains-wanderer, Greater Bilby and Regent Honeyeaters. These programs will play a vital role in the future of these species in the wild. The Zoo scientists worked on an annual basis for most of the decade cryopreserving coral samples from the Great barrier Reef.
Breeding success flowed across the decade with Rhino calves, Giraffe calves, Otter pups, Ring-tailed Lemur babies, Spider Monkey babies, Takhi foals, Cheetah cubs, Koala joeys and most significantly the first two Asian Elephant calves were born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The Zoo also achieved breeding success with the first Lion cubs born in Dubbo and welcomed the first Galapagos Tortoise hatchling in the Australasian region.
“A new community running event, the Dubbo Stampede was launched during the past decade and the Zoo became an integral partner in what is now a major event on the calendar for the region,” said Steve.
Across the decade the Zoo also continued to receive accolades with NSW Tourism Awards for the Best Tourist Attraction and Best Unique Accommodation for Zoofari Lodge, including being inducted into the NSW Tourism Hall of Fame for Best Unique Accommodation.