There have been a few changes last month with the Perenties and Mertens Water Monitors going into new enclosures just inside the entry gate and Blotched Blue-tongues going in with the Echidna. We are looking for anyone who has bamboo that needs to be cut back. Call us to organise.
The bio-security fence is finally underway thanks to a dollar for dollar grant received from the State Government.
Do you have all your Christmas shopping done? We have Gift Certificates available for Day Passes, Animal Encounters, Adoptions, etc. The zoo is also proving to be a popular place for end of year work, family or friends parties.
Celebrations Coming Up
Official opening of the Giraffe Complex on Dec 10th with The Hon Martin Ferguson, Minister for Tourism officiating. This is in conjunction with celebrating 30 years since the zoo first opened as Wallaroo Wildlife Park by Colin & Liz Konig.
“Ethan” and “Julian”, two more Ring-tailed Lemurs, have arrived from Australia Zoo. A Red-bellied Black Snake is now on display in the Fossil Cave and there are several more bird species to be seen in the Macaw aviary and a second aviary nearby. The wallaby joeys are starting to venture out of mum’s pouch.
October has been a very busy month for schools visiting the zoo. We also had a few trips out – to Stawell, Dunkeld, Horsham, Trentham and Glenthompson.
Along with the aviary, work on the new Perentie enclosure is progressing and a new entrance gate into the Red-necked Wallaby enclosure.
Animal Action Galore
This past month has been an exciting one seeing the arrival of some fantastic new additions. First to arrive was the Serval, “Hasani” followed by “Othea” and “Gamba”, mum and son Ring-tailed Lemurs and last week “Murray” and “Bridgette” a pair of Blue-and-Gold Macaws went on display.
National Threatened Species Day
Zoos from around Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea met for a 3 day conference last week and many of the presentations centred around the Koala, Tasmanian Devil and Bilby – all precious Australian natives that are facing serious threats to their survival. National Threatened Species Day is held on 7th September each year to encourage communities to help conserve Australia’s unique native fauna and flora. Great websites to find out more on how you can help Australia’s threatened species are www.environment.gov.au, www.savethebilbyfund.com, www.tassiedevil.com.au, www.savethekoala.com
Zoos – Entertainment, Education, Research or Conservation?
Each year Zoos and Aquariums in the Australasian region
• have over 16 million visitors
• 600,000 plus school students conducting curriculum related activities
• contribute over $2m in funding to universities and research institutions
Conservation activities in the region comprise of holding over 200 native species and over 150 exotic species included on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species. At a global level 27 species are extinct in the wild but are maintained by zoos.
Halls Gap Zoo has been given the honour of becoming involved in the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Program with the first 5 potential breeding pairs arriving this week. On the brink of extinction the Orange-bellied Parrot has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species with less than 20 birds living in the wild out of a total population of fewer than 200 individuals.
The arrival of Pumika has been delayed until the weather improves. Monarto Zoo staff became concerned that training him in the wet, cold conditions was causing him stress and as Sumari had settled in so well it was decided to postpone transporting Pumika.
Our biggest news is, of course, Sumari the first giraffe is here and on view. Pumika, his companion who has proved to be a bit more timid in his training is due to arrive this week. Thanks to McDonalds Horsham & Stawell for coming on board as a sponsor of the Giraffe.
Diesel our young Freshwater Crocodile now has a friend to share his enclosure and they can often be seen together sharing the heat lamp.
Pemba, one of the Red Pandas has left us to go to Adelaide where he is to be part of the breeding program.
Giraffe Journey Update
The long waited for advent is now upon us with the expected date of arrival June 14. This journey has taken us through some challenging terrain of red tape and bureaucracy, huge commitment and hard work to bring this exciting and monumental event – the arrival of giraffe to Halls Gap Zoo. They have spent the last several weeks being “conditioned” (taught) to walk up onto the trailer that will transport them from Monarto Zoo to Halls Gap.
This month we would like to thank Boroka Downs for their continued support.
The arrival date is getting close now. The enclosure is almost completed and we are waiting on a definite date from Monarto for the transportation which will be in the last week of May.
You can now enjoy a Cappuccino, Latte or tasty Hot Chocolate from our new Espresso machine installed recently.
Sponsorship & Members
A big thank you to Shelley and family for their continued support and if you would like to be a part of the action with the benefits of becoming a sponsor or member, contact us any day during open hours.
The Pygmy Marmoset twins are proving to be very entertaining as they explore their world and check everything out. They can often be found playing at the front of their enclosure where you can watch them chase each other or wrestle.
Do you ever wonder what the purpose of a Zoo is?
An important function of zoos is to be involved in conservation programs. This past week we were very excited to be able to contribute to a group of Bush Stone-curlews that will be released in southern NSW. It is most satisfying to be able to help with the survival of endangered species and lend a hand to breeding programs such as the Curlews whose range has declined drastically in south-eastern Australia to where it is now extinct in many of its known former areas.
It’s now full steam ahead with the Giraffe enclosure to have it finished ready for their arrival at the end of April. The area has been levelled, the moat constructed, the shed is nearing completion, the shade sail erected and the fencing has began.
You can now take a break up on the hill near the Bison under the newly erected shade sail. We have been able to build this thanks to the generosity of Jenny and Frank.
There has been a bit of everything this month. The Black-capped Capuchins are happy to be back on display in their newly constructed enclosure next door to the White-fronted Capuchins. We have also acquired some koalas, including a young joey that now calls the recently completed second koala enclosure home. Sadly, we lost one of our dingoes, Jedda, who died from old age related problems.
The main construction this month has been to finish the capuchin enclosure and work continues on the quoll enclosure.
Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic red tape the giraffe enclosure and the arrival of the giraffe have once again been delayed. We were hoping to have them here in time for Easter but, barring any more hold ups, it will now be towards the end of April.