Auckland Zoo opens biggest project yet
Sat, 10 Sep 2011 6:35p.m.
By Kim Choe
Auckland Zoo has opened the biggest project in its 88 year history.
Called Te Wao Nui, The Living Realm, it showcases New Zealand’s unique landscapes and wildlife and allows the zoo to put some of its rarely-seen conservation work on display.
Sixty native animal species have taken residence in the new exhibit.
Showcasing six different New Zealand environments, it takes visitors from the forest to the wetlands in just a few steps.
Native bird and mammal keeper Debs Searchfield is excited to have the new aviaries up and running and let the birds get on with their natural behaviours.
As well as settling into his new enclosure, a curious kea will soon have to get used to having equally-curious visitors.
Birds keeper Michelle Whybrow will be keeping a close eye on her notoriously mischievous charges although she says it is not birds who will be the problem.
“It's actually going to be more of a problem the other way around, possibly people trying to touch him or feed him things he shouldn't eat, than him doing any damage to them.”
Many of the zoo's conservation efforts are on display, including one of the world's rarest ducks, the Campbell Island Teal.
The $16 million project stretches over more than 20 percent of the zoo's area, and will play a major role in changing the public's perception of what the zoo does.
Zoo director Jonathan Milcken says it is very easy to see how unique and surprising a tiger is, and an elephant is.
“What is slightly more difficult is to see how unique long-finned eels are.”
And although there is plenty to catch the eye, there is no doubting who will be the stars.
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14/09/2011 9:03:03 a.m.
Hinerangi Himiona wrote:
Congratulations to all Auckland Zoo staff and especially the native team. Well done!
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