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Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo New South Wales. It has been operating since 1977.

The zoo is operated by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia (TCSA) which also operates Taronga Zoo Sydney in Sydney.

Attractions

Safari Park Playground

The playground allows children to explore Africa through play. Timber play spaces featuring balancing beams, sand pits and bridges complement statues of hippos, rhinos and giraffes along with a jeep which they can explore.

Savanna Safari

This open sided bus takes you through the savanna habitat with guided commentary to view the rhino, giraffe, zebra, antelope and more.

The Waterhole

This area features a meerkat exhibit with tunnels to explore and a waterplay area with animal sculptures and water jets to play amongst.

Location

Dubbo,

New South Wales, Australia

Year Opened

1977

Land Size

300ha (741acres)

Number of Animals

1,000

Number of Species

97

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History

Plans to develop an open range zoo for Sydney began in the late 1960s. It aimed to provide Taronga Zoo a place where they could breed the larger, grazing animals which needed more space.

The site at Dubbo, a former World War Two army camp was decided upon as the location for the zoo and construction began.

Opening day was February 28th 1977, when it opened the zoo was home to 35 animals which hailed from six countries. This was the first time a zoo had opened in Australia for 60 years.

During 1992 Queen Elizabeth II visited Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

On January 21st 2008, the zoo’s name was changed from just Western Plains Zoo to Taronga Western Plains Zoo to connect it with the work of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

2016 saw the first Asian elephant to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo arrive.

In 2018 the zoo opened its wild herds habitat which features a fallow deer walk-through and takhi exhibit.

During 2020, Lion Pridelands a large new home for the zoo’s pride of African lions was opened.

The Asian elephant habitat at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Main Exhibits

Savannah Safari

This exhibit recreates the plains of Africa with herds of giraffeostrich and antelope mixing together in the same habitat.

Elephants

Visitors can view exhibits for the zoo’s large herd of Asian elephants.

Wild Asia

These habitats showcase the animals of Asia. Lively small clawed otters frolic in their stream while nearby Indian rhinoceros can be seen. Sumatran tigers stalk in their enclosure while a group of siamangs enjoy their own island.

Savannah Lake

Located at the entry to the zoo are three islands sitting in the middle of the Savannah Lake. These provide a home for ring-tailed and black and white ruffed lemurs along with spider monkey’s.

Australia

Exhibits displaying dingoeskoalas, echidnas, kangaroos and more are located near to each other.

Wild Herds

Guests can walk among the friendly herd of fallow deer while viewing herds of takhi (Mongolian wild horse).

Lion Pride Lands

Lion pride lands provides a massive area for the zoo’s pride of African lions. A yard allows guests to interact with pygmy goats.

The Waterhole

At the waterhole guests can view meerkats, tortoises and a herd of barbary sheep while enjoying food from the cafe.

The lion pridelands habitat at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

References

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Website – https://taronga.org.au/

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