Australia: Sydney is set to get a second zoo
The zoo is the same size as Auckland (New Zealand) and Perth (Australia) zoos and twice the size of Adelaide Zoo. It will, however, be smaller than the not-for-profit Taronga Zoo which sits on a 28 hectare site and has 3,500 animals. The zoo has a planned opening in late 2017.
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney is set to get a second zoo, with giraffes, hippos and cheetahs bound for the city’s western suburbs.
The proposed Sydney Zoo could house up to 500 animals on a 16.5 hectare site in the Western Sydney Parklands at Bungarribee.
Almost 745,000 people each year are expected to visit the zoo, which could open by the end of 2017 if granted planning approval.
John Burgess, who was also the founder of Sydney Aquarium, and his son Jake are behind the bid to build the $36 million private zoo.
Rather than stealing visitors from Taronga Zoo, they said their hope is to attract an expanding and untapped market of western Sydney families.
“Within half an hour of here there are 2.5 million people who can drive here with virtually no traffic lights. Seventy eight per cent of those are people in families and family groups,” Mr Burgess senior said.
The zoo, to be built on the Great Western Highway near the junction of the M7 and M4 motorways, would include elevated walkways through an African grasslands exhibit, underwater glass viewing areas and reptile and nocturnal animal houses. Among the animals would be sharks, rhinos, lions and zebras.
Mr Burgess said the the animals were the “rockstars” of the zoo and would receive world-class care with extra large enclosures and animal experts on site.
The zoo would also run an animal breeding program for threatened and endangered species including Asian elephants, lowland gorillas and tigers.
Mr Burgess said the zoo would get the bulk of its animals from breeding programs already in place at zoos around Australia.
Environment minister Mark Speakman said the zoo would boost the Sydney economy by $45 million each year.