By Philippines News Agency
SYDNEY — The Western Australian (WA) government will enact an open range zoo which will host African savanna animals as well as support Perth zoo’s international wildlife conservation breeding programs, which is being marred by space constraints.
WA Premier Colin Barnett said in a statement on Wednesday that the conservation and recreation reserve, about an hour’s drive northeast of Perth, is an ideal setting for an open range zoo and will be up within the next five to 10 years time.
“This is a truly spectacular site next to the Avon Valley National Park that has all the features needed to make an open range zoo attractive to international visitors,” Barnett said, adding that the investment for the open zoo is being worked out.
“It’s close to Perth, the Swan Valley and the Avon Valley and offers other recreational opportunities, such as nature-based tourism, camping and bushwalking.”
Barnett said the open range zoos held great appeal to the public because people preferred to see large animals in open spaces rather than confined to small enclosures.
“This reflects a wider appreciation of animal welfare issues,” he said.
WA state environment minister Albert Jacob said Perth Zoo’s conservation efforts were constrained by its central city location and an open range zoo offered more breeding options, as well as exciting new tourism opportunities.
“An open range zoo gives us the opportunity to become a center for breeding exotic species such as white rhinoceros, giraffes, African painted dogs, hamadryas baboons, plains zebras, African tawny lions and Asian elephants,” Jacobs said.
At present Australia has four open range zoos, two in Victoria, one in South Australia and one in New South Wales.