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Zoo and Aquariums Association provides updates on facility updates and upgrades in 2020

Zoo and Aquariums Association provides updates on facility updates and upgrades in 2020
January 7, 2021

The Zoo and Aquariums Association Australasia (ZAA) has advised of works that ZAA-accredited facilities undertook during 2020, making the most of Coronavirus-enforced closures to undertake construction works and introduce new species.

Among updates highlighted was the SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast welcoming a colony of little penguins within a new interactive habitat across two levels.

Advising that the habitat will educate guests about the threats penguins are facing these days and the actions people can take to protect them in the wild, ZAA advised "the Little Blue Penguins zone immerses guests in the wonderful world of the smallest penguin species."

Kiwi Birdlife Park in New Zealand has undertaken multiple projects in the last few years but managed to officially open several of these almost all at once in 2020. Their brand-new kiwi house opened up to the public and showcases fantastic display from these elusive birds which has been great for advocacy.

Included in the build was a new kitchen space for the keepers and a new incubation room for eggs too which are both fully functioning. They also finished one section of their new outdoor kiwi pen and their breeding pair have just moved in, hopefully resulting in better breeding success.

While shutting their doors to the public was devastating for Zoos South Australia, it gave them the ability to complete renovations to a number of high-profile exhibits. Adelaide Zoo’s Australian Sea Lion habitat was refurbished thanks to the generosity of a donor, leading to some great animal welfare outcomes for their male-and-female pair Ady and Tasko.

Renovations also mean that giraffes Kimya and Nolean can now roam in a habitat twice the size, while Southern hairy-nosed wombats Kibbar and Harriett are now reaping the rewards of the installation of an upgraded tunnel and heated den.

At Monarto Safari Park, the closure meant they could transfer animals including our American Bison to off-exhibit areas, giving us the opportunity to regenerate pasture used by the animals.

Auckland Zoo was beyond excited to open its new high canopy habitat for orangutans and siamangs - phase one of its $60 million South East Asia Jungle Track due to be completed by summer 2021/22. While three months later than scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delay, following what’s been an epic journey to create, gave these primates and their keepers, plenty of time to settle into this stunning new environment.

Unique, not just to New Zealand, but globally, the new habitat - all about giving these arboreal primates the ability to be and behave as they do in the wild, features mature trees and other tropical fauna interspersed with tree-inspired climbing structures, and an extensive network of aerial pathways (created by a 25metre high poles connected to over 2 kilometres of special ropes) that extend out of the habitat and out over the Zoo’s lake.

At Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo in Queensland three new species a Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo, a Komodo dragon and radiated tortoises.

ZAA also advised of the resilience of the sector, resilience of the sector, noting "zoos and aquariums have certainly had it tough with major lockdowns across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. But just because we were in lockdown didn’t mean animals didn’t still need to be fed and cared for.

"Despite the challenges, it’s been a great chance to see some shining examples of resilience and appreciate the silver linings this year."

Images: Little blue penguins in the new habitat at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast (top), one of the kiwis at the Kiwi Birdlife Park (middle) and an orangutan in the innovative new habitat at Auckland Zoo (below). Credit: Zoo and Aquariums Association Australasia.

Related Articles

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28th December 2020 - Perth Zoo offers summer exhibitions and entertainment

23rd December 2020 - Crowdfunding success sees Aussie Ark acquire wildlife refuge

17th December 2020 - WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo welcomes numbat and raises awareness of the endangered species

10th December 2020 - Australian Reptile Park presents Jurassic Zoo and inaugural alligator feeding encounters during Summer holidays

9th December 2020 - Sea World and QPWS staff combine to free dolphin after days trapped in North Stradbroke Island rock pool

9th December 2020 - Adelaide Zoo offers inaugural Summer ‘Zoo Nights’ events

8th December 2020 - Taronga Zoo Sydney to reopen Sky Safari observing COVIDSafety

27th November 2020 - Aussie Ark celebrates the opening of its Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary

26th November 2020 - Zoos SA embraces the ‘crappiness’ of 2020

24th November 2020 - Shark Dive Xtreme relaunches at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast

13th November 2020 - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium celebrates recycling week with Seabin commitment

9th November 2020 - Taronga Zoo plans for new Wildlife Hospital and upgraded Reptile Centre with government and private funding

4th November 2020 - New $84 million elephant sanctuary to be developed at Victoria’s Werribee Zoo

29th October 2020 - Society responsible for founding Orana Park wildlife attraction winds down after 50 years

30th September 2020 - Zoos Victoria and RSPCA Victoria collaborate to build new koala hospital

23rd September 2020 - Wellington Zoo launches new Behind the Scenes experience

1st August 2020 - Five Year Action Plan launched to save New Zealand’s endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin

20th July 2020 - Tantawangalo wildlife sanctuary receives recovery funding

2nd June 2020 - SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast keen to share Penguin Encounter Experience following reopening

19th May 2020 - Queensland Government provides emergency funding for theme parks and wildlife attractions

12th May 2020 - Bushfire affected wildlife and plants to receive $150 million funding boost 

6th May 2020 - New wildlife hospital nears completion for Mogo Wildlife Park

30th March 2020 - New Auckland Zoo habitat welcomes return of Orangutans

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