$9 million Lion Pride Lands precinct opens at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo has celebrated the launch of the new Lion Pride Lands precinct, a $9 million joint investment between the NSW Government and Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
The precinct represents the largest investment in an animal exhibit in the Zoo’s history.
Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton, who officially opened the precinct with Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, said the 3.8 hectare immersive safari adventure experience highlighted the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to conservation.
“There are less than 20,000 Lions remaining in the wild, and to have eight here in NSW is truly special,” Ms Upton said.
“The new Lion Pride Lands is the first major change to the Zoo’s exhibits since it opened and is a significant step in helping to protect one of the world’s vulnerable species.”
Taronga Conservation Society Australia Chief Executive and Director Cameron Kerr said that with as few as 20,000 Lions remaining in the wild, to have a pride of eight was a privilege.
“Big cats such as Lions represent everything that is powerful about nature. It’s a tragedy to see Lions experience a population decline of 43 per cent in the last 21 years due to their range and habitat becoming increasingly fragmented. This is only made worse by conflict and tensions between traditional farming and carnivores such as Lions, and the threat of poaching,” said Mr Kerr.
“Through the journey of this precinct, guests can see the power of Lions as an apex predator and better understand the relationship between humans and Lions in the wild. Guests can also understand how Taronga is working with partners such as the Northern Rangelands Trust to make a real difference for wildlife and people in African communities.”
About Taronga Conservation Society Australia
Taronga Conservation Society Australia (Taronga) is a leader in the fields of conservation, research, animal welfare, wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation with an absolute commitment to conservation and securing a shared future for wildlife and people.
Taronga’s staff, scientists and researchers are experts in their fields. They work in partnerships with governments, universities and conservation organisations to support dozens of science, research and conservation projects and programs across Australia and around the world. Taronga participates in regional and global conservation breeding programs to establish insurance populations for species threatened in the wild, from Australia’s tiny and critically endangered Corroboree Frog to the Southern Black Rhino.
Taronga’s two Zoos, Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, create experiences for its 1.9 million guests that inspire lasting connections between people and wildlife. Through education programs, community engagement and environmental campaigning, Taronga works to create the next-generation of conservation champions.
Taronga believes that a future without wildlife is not an option.