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Sydney Zoo announces arrival of first animals in newly completed African precinct

Sydney Zoo announces arrival of first animals in newly completed African precinct
September 2, 2019

The new Sydney Zoo has today announced that its first animals - lions, cheetahs, hyenas, orangutans, chimpanzees and zebras - have moved into the attraction.

Four lion brothers from Taronga Conservation Society are joined by three orangutans, two cheetahs, three zebras, 11 chimpanzees and 13 baboons. In addition, Sydney Zoo welcomes three hyenas all the way from Singapore Zoo to Western Sydney - with the pack becoming the only hyenas to call Sydney home.

The first animals arriving at Sydney Zoo have come from some of the world’s most respected facilities including the orangutans Santan, Maimunah and Dewi from Melbourne Zoo, baboons and hyenas Enzi, Etana and Endesha from Singapore Zoo plus the kings of the jungle Bakari, Sheru, Karoo and Virunga, arriving in Western Sydney from Taronga Conservation Society.

The animals are spending time settling into their new environments before Sydney Zoo welcomes its other residents in the coming months ahead of its official opening later in the year.

Sydney’s first new major zoo in more than 100 years has been welcoming its new animal exhibits to Bungaribbee site over recent months.

The Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores David French recently chaperoned the lions on a road trip from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo to their new home at the attraction’s Pride Rock.

French explained “the lions travelled in a comfortable crate, fully conscious, not tranquillised.

“It’s a self-contained truck with air-conditioning so other drivers would be hard-pressed to know what was next to them.”

Set to be home to more than 2,000 animals, Sydney Zoo will accommodate a wide range of exotic and native species.

Advising that the animal acquisitions are a significant milestone in the Zoo’s quest to deliver the most innovative animal encounters in Australia, offering visitors the opportunity to get closer to wildlife than ever before, Zoo Managing Director, Jake Burgess explains “lions are  a symbol of courage and power, and such a majestic big cat species that it only seems fitting they are one of our first exciting arrivals. They, along with all the other animals, are settling into their surroundings nicely under the watchful eye of our expert keepers.

“Sydney Zoo is a new world-class facility offering an expansive habitat for each species, with endless enrichment options for our animals."

Commenting on the relocation of the orangutans, Harna Burton, Life Sciences Manager - Primates at Melbourne Zoo, noted “Santan, Maimunah and Dewi will have a vital role to play in bringing important conservation messaging to a new audience of visitors to Sydney Zoo, by showing how wonderful orang-utans are and how vital it is that they and their habitats are protected in the wild.”

Dr Cheng Wen Haur, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore added “our curators have visited the new facilities and met with Sydney Zoo’s animal care team. We believe our spotted hyenas and Hamadryas baboons will have a good home in the new park and be important ambassadors for their species.

“Our heartiest congratulations to Sydney Zoo, as they join the Australasian zoological community to further wildlife conservation and grow peoples’ appreciation for nature and wildlife.”

For more information go to www.sydneyzoo.com

Images: Sydney Zoo’s new Pride Rock (top) while cheetahs Akika (middle) and Obi (below) take in their new surroundings. Courtesy of Sydney Zoo.

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11th May 2018 - Sydney zoos reach out of court settlement in branding dispute

28th March 2018 - New lion exhibit opens at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo

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13th September 2017 - New Western Sydney Zoo gets planning approval

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29th July 2016 - Melbourne Zoo highlights plight of orangutans with call for palm oil labelling

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8th March 2013 - Singapore Zoo prepares to celebrate 40th anniversary


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