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Dreamworld A Review of Dreamworld

Discussion in 'Australia' started by WhistlingKite24, 22 Jun 2019.

  1. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Although I am not a big fan of theme parks and rollercoasters, I recently had the opportunity to visit Dreamworld and decided to write out a walk-through of Dreamworld’s animal collection. I will break this review up into the two main animal sections of Dreamworld; Tiger Island and Corroboree (the area where Dreamworld’s native animals are held).

    TIGER ISLAND

    Tiger Island currently holds Dreamworld’s large collection of hybrid and Sumatran tigers. In 2016, Tiger Island received a $7 million-dollar renovation and refurbishment which aimed to improve visitor experiences (more enclosures, closer viewing of the tigers) and add new areas for tiger cub viewing. On my visit, I saw nine tigers on display (all hybrids- three of them were cubs).

    The first enclosure encountered in Tiger Island was, ‘Cub Kindy’ and held Dreamworld’s eight-week old hybrid tiger cubs, ‘Javi’ and ‘Zakari’. Their enclosure was quite simple; glass-fronted with shade and artificial grass. They had access to many toys and their keeper took the cubs for a walk to and from their enclosure. The cubs were very eager to explore their surroundings and appeared to be very inquisitive.


    The next enclosure, adjacent to the cubs, was a pretty unattractive cave-like structure with several glass viewing windows. The ‘Up Close’ enclosure allowed visitors to see a tiger up close with close viewing opportunities and a variety of small viewing windows and tunnels set up at different angles. The actual enclosure itself was small yet well-vegetated. At the time of my visit this enclosure held a hybrid male called ‘Kai’.


    The main dry-moated area of Tiger Island hasn’t changed much over the years. It continues to be very lush and well-shaded. The ‘island’ has several large trees, patches of bamboo, wooden platforms, and a large pool. Adjacent to the main enclosure is the heavily-themed seating area for the tiger shows. The main enclosure held four hybrid females (two orange, two white- the only white tigers in Australia). Past the front of the enclosure, the side of this main area had glass viewing and a mock rock wall. The ‘Lair’ enclosure continues this mock rock theme and holds ‘Nika’, Dreamworld’s main breeding female. The enclosure itself is quite bare in comparison to the other enclosures, but it seemed to provide some opportunity for the tiger to hide from public view. In the past, this enclosure has also temporarily held white lions.


    Past the gift shop and signage detailing Dreamworld’s extensive conservation efforts, the final enclosure was the ‘Tiger Nursery’. This enclosure was simple in design and was a corrugated iron building with the glass viewing windows. This building contained a layer of blankets and toys for an unnamed male tiger cub, who is a month younger than the other cubs at Dreamworld.

    Overall, Dreamworld holds a significant number of tigers on and off display. It’s a shame that the majority of tigers are not Sumatran, however Dreamworld does generate significant public awareness and funding for meaningful conservation efforts. Tiger Island does a good job in showcasing and highlighting such a charismatic and popular species.

    Part Two of this review will feature Dreamworld’s Corroboree area and their solid collection of native animals.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2019
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  2. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Great review @WhistlingKite24!

    The cub has been named Kahn. He was born 26/05/2019 to Raja and Nika.

    From your review, it sounds like the 10 adult tigers are kept in six different groups, with the four females born November 2015 (Adira, Akasha, Kiko and Kali) making up the largest group; the two purebred Sumatran tiger sisters (Jaya and Shanti) living as a pair; and the other four adults (Raja, Nika, Pi and Kai) living separately.
     
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  3. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    CORROBOREE

    Dreamworld’s collection of native animals is held at Corroboree (formerly this area was called the Australian Wildlife Experience). This area strongly links the close cultural ties of native wildlife with indigenous culture and tradition, and was divided into four main geographical sections; arid, woodlands, wetlands and rainforest. Throughout the entire section, local indigenous artwork, paintings and artefacts were featured throughout the area. There was a lot of signage indicating the cultural significance and Dreamtime stories regarding many of the animals held at Corroboree. It was excellent to see an overall authentic example of this cooperation and partnership to educate the public on the significance of Australian wildlife with an indigenous Australian context.

    This area begins with a large rainbow serpent tunnel (commonly believed to be a creator god throughout indigenous culture - this rainbow serpent in particular was inspired by the Nyikina people of the western Kimberly region). Along the tunnel are a series of significant animals associated with the Nyikina people and their local river.



    Past the signage which explained the intentions and role of the Corroboree area, the first section encountered was the arid area. The first animals seen were three dingoes, which had a dry-moated enclosure with large rocks and logs. The dingo enclosure also had glass viewing in a small shaded area which replicated an outback homestead. This shaded viewing area also had three small tanks for Spiny-tailed Monitor, Stimson’s Python and Black-headed Python. They seemed adequate and were of a simple design. This shaded area also had a small glass viewing area for the next large dry-moated enclosure for Red Kangaroo and Emu.


    Adjacent to the dingoes and kangaroos was a small open-topped enclosure for a Koala, which seemed a bit out of place (on a previous visit many years ago I recall that this enclosure held lizards). Next to this area was a fenced enclosure for a male Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, who was of course sleeping. His enclosure had a mock rock back wall and den with glass viewing.


    Continuing along the path was a small nocturnal house for Bilby. This area had signage detailing the breeding success and reintroduction program Dreamworld has had for the species. Their enclosure was on the small size and the two bilbies I saw had access to two burrows. The final enclosure in the arid area was a small enclosure for a rescued Wedge-tailed Eagle. Although she couldn’t fly, I couldn’t help but think her enclosure was uncomfortably small. According to signage she is placed in a behind the scenes area every night.

    The next area was wetlands and featured the culture and art of the Torres Strait Islands. The main attraction of this area was a pair of Saltwater Crocodiles, who had two different pools in the same enclosure. This enclosure had a fence along the front and a mock rock wall along the back with glass viewing. Their enclosure had a sandy substrate, a small waterfall and a feeding platform for crocodile shows and experiences. Behind the crocodile enclosure (and opposite the mock rock wall) was a small but lush tank for a Green Tree Python.


    Past the saltwater crocodile enclosure was a fenced waterbird enclosure for a pair of Brolgas and an Australian Pelican. This area also had several species of wild bird including Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling Duck, Pacific Black Duck and Australian White Ibis. The final area in wetlands featured a large enclosure for Freshwater Crocodile, Brisbane River Turtle and what seemed to be a native snapping turtle, most likely Northern Snapping Turtle. This enclosure had a bridge in the middle of the enclosure from which visitors viewed the reptiles. The crocodiles and turtles could swim underneath the bridge, receiving access to both sides of the water.

    The next and largest section of Corroboree was the woodlands area, which had two main sections; a kangaroo walkthrough and a bird aviary/ nocturnal house. The kangaroo walkthrough only had Eastern Grey Kangaroo and was a typical walkthrough macropod enclosure, with shaded rest areas for the kangaroos. Also in this area, was a standard open-topped koala enclosure with an unusual blue backdrop. According to some nearby signage, Dreamworld holds the second-largest captive koala population in the world.

    Next to the main koala area, was a medium-sized walk-through aviary. Although modest in structure and size, this aviary held not one, but two delightful surprises…. a pair of Malleefowl!!



    This species was a lovely lifer and took me completely by surprise. Other inhabitants of the aviary included a large population of pigeons (Bar-shouldered Dove, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Common Bronzewing, Crested Pigeon, Wonga Pigeon), Australian Shelduck, Chestnut Teal, Pied Heron, Pied Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Bush Stone Curlew and Buff-banded Rail. A nice collection of bird species. Inside the walkthrough aviary, there was a small standard aviary with Regent Bowerbird, Emerald Dove, White-browed Woodswallow and Gouldian Finch.

    Next to this aviary was a mock rock-fronted enclosure with glass viewing windows which had a netted roof. This enclosure held a very active Tasmanian Devil, who was fixated with the pigeons and ibises sitting on top of its enclosure. Still inside the walkthrough aviary was a pair of enclosures for Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. Of the three zoos I have seen Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos at, these enclosures were the smallest. However, they were still adequate and possessed many climbing opportunities for the tree kangaroos. These tree kangaroos were the most active individuals I had ever seen.


    Up a ramp, the nocturnal area is connected with the aviary, and is heavily themed as an urban backyard. The backyard enclosure had a wire front and was divided in half. The first section contained a Barn Owl, and the second larger section held Squirrel Glider and Tawny Frogmouth. This area also had tanks for a huge Cane Toad and a Carpet Python.

    The final geographical area of Corroboree was the rainforest area and was solely represented by three Southern Cassowaries. These enclosures were viewed from a boardwalk and were very lush (as you’d expect for cassowaries).

    Dreamworld’s Corroboree did a great job in showcasing a solid range of Australian wildlife with a uniquely indigenous perspective. I was pleasantly surprised that despite its limited space, this area managed to represent a good array of species. If you’re in the area (and are willing to fork out the entry fee), Dreamworld’s animal collection makes for an interesting experience.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2019
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  4. toothlessjaws

    toothlessjaws Well-Known Member

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    Since the Sumatran tiger breeding program in Australasia is carefully managed, its doesn't actually matter if Dreamworld held all pure Sumatrans or not. Hypothetically Dreamworld could breed more Sumatran tigers, but all or most of these animals wouldn't get the green light to breed anyway. They would make no further contribution to their subspecies. Its worth keeping in mind that the aim of the Sumatran tiger breeding program is not to actually make more Sumatran tigers. Instead its aim is to carefully manage the limited genetic pool thats available to the captive population. And to do that, you want to stretch out the intervals between between births to slow the generational turnover since each generation you lose a bit more of that diversity. A lot of people on this forum often wonder why zoos so frequently leave it so late to breed their animals.... Its very much a deliberate thing.

    But on those hybrids: I wonder if in a few years we accept some of the recent research into tiger taxa that suggests there are in fact just the two subspecies: Mainland tigers and Sunda tigers. If this is accepted, it means that suddenly all these so called generic or hybrid tigers of various mainland subspecies actually become purebred Mainland tigers.

    Personally, I've always been perplexed how the mainland tigers could be defined as different subspecies when in historic times their distribution would have been continuous. Certainly there is an identifiable cline: We can all see Siberian tigers definitely have particular morphological traits, but I for one have always been sceptical of the distinctiveness of South China, Indochinese and Malayan tigers in particular. The good news is that if we accept this two-subspecies definition, Javan, Bali and Caspian tigers all turn out to be alive and well in the worlds zoos (and indeed Dreamworld!).

    Until there is a scientific consensus, I don't mind one bit that these "generic" mainland tigers live on in the world's zoos. Especially given that should the taxonomic status quo prevail, these "generics" likely carry a disproportionately large percentage of Indian tiger genetics, a subspecies that isn't found pure in zoos outside its home continent.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2019
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  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I can see the value of hybrids if the existing ‘not Sumatran’ sub species are to be amalgamated into one purebred sub species (the Mainland tiger); but the fact remains that even under that classification, most of the Dreamworld’s tigers will still be hybrids as they descend from Raja (a Sumatran/Sunda tiger).
     
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  6. toothlessjaws

    toothlessjaws Well-Known Member

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    Thats a shame. Did this happen in more recent years?
     
  7. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Dreamworld has been breeding with ‘Raja’ (Sumatran/Sunda) and ‘Nika’ (a tiger with Siberian genes) since 2015.
    They have had several litters together and I believe so far, they have produced 2:4 cubs (two of these females now live at the National Zoo). Their offspring now makes up the majority of Dreamworld’s tiger population.
    From this pairing, their daughter, ‘Adira’ (2015) has recently produced 2:0 cubs with ‘Pi’ (a hybrid tiger who is half Sumatran/Sunda).
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2019
  8. toothlessjaws

    toothlessjaws Well-Known Member

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    Urgh. Well forget everything I said about that then. That's a little disappointing to hear. I thought Dreamworld had imported more of the US "bengal" tigers that are purported to be mostly Indian with a bit of Siberian dropped in.
     
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  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    While from a zoo in Japan, the two white tigers (Kiko and Kali) are of this variety; however, there is no male at Dreamworld for them to breed with that isn't at least half Sumatran/Sunda.

    The most interesting colour variations came from the offspring of two of the six founders (which were all US 'Bengal' tigers).
     
  10. OskarGC

    OskarGC Member

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    WHITE LIONS WHEN!!!
     
  11. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  12. OskarGC

    OskarGC Member

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    I wish I had known that been living in Coomera area for 11 years
     
  13. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    If you’re interested in seeing white lions, Darling Downs Zoo near Toowoomba currently has four white lions. The zoo has the only lions in Queensland.
     
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  14. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Did they still have some Feather tailed Gliders?
     
  15. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have only ever seen Squirrel Gliders on-display in their nocturnal house, of course that doesn’t mean that they don’t still have them off-display like the Mahogany Gliders.
     
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