Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Adelaide Zoo celebrates 130 years, welcomes lion cubs

Adelaide Zoo celebrates 130 years, welcomes lion cubs
July 12, 2013

The Adelaide Zoo has celebrated its 130th anniversary, marking its beginnings in 1883, when it was opened by the Australian Zoological and Acclimation Society.

Althought financially troubled in recent years, Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted recently explained to the ABC that the Zoo is proud to have been offering unique experiences to the public over its 130 years.

Bensted explained that, when it opened, the Zoo "gave the people in Adelaide, for the very first time, (the chance) to see things like black panthers which simply would have been a mind-blowing experience.

"It had very large attendances, given the small populations of Adelaide at the time."

Zoo Asset and Horticultural Manager Jeff Lugg said the 130 years had not passed without some very unusual happenings, highlighting two unfortunate occurrences: the first, in 1902, when a keeper had an arm torn off by a brown bear (the bear was shot and is now on display as an exhibit at the Adelaide Museum) and the second, in 1920, when a keeper was killed in a polar bear attack.

From an animal's perspective, Lugg said the Zoo faced one of its toughest times in the early 1900s.

He explained "we had a really severe drought in 1915, and we weren't allowed to irrigate or fill the ponds, and as a result five of the flamingos died."

The current Greater flamingo has lived at the zoo for the past 84 years, with Lugg adding "I think it's probably the most visited exhibit in the zoo."

However, Bensted explains that when the resident Greater flamingo dies the zoo will not be able to replace it, stating "there's very, very strict quarantine restrictions about bringing any animals, particularly birds, into Australia."

In recent times the zoo has acquired Australia's only breeding pair of Giant Pandas, with Wang Wang and Funi moving into their custom built enclosure in 2010.

The pair will call the Adelaide Zoo home until 2020, with hopes the pair will produce offspring.

Following the launch of the Panda Exhibit, architects turned their eyes to redesigning the main entrance for the zoo, moving from the original Frome Street gates to inside the Adelaide Botanic Gardens on Plane Tree Drive.

The new entrance was opened in February 2010.

Zoos SA has also recently celebrated the arrival of three lion cubs at its Monarto Zoo. Born on 24th April, the clubs made their first public appearance on 8th July.

Click here to visit the Adelaide Zoo Facebook page.




Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks



Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces



Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation



Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues



With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business