Join our zoo community

Wildlife HQ Zoo Another Review of Wildlife HQ

Discussion in 'Australia' started by WhistlingKite24, 20 Mar 2020.

  1. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

    2 Jul 2018
    Brisbane, Australia
    Situated on the grounds of the Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple - an hour’s drive from Brisbane - Wildlife HQ is one of Queensland’s newer and more modern zoos. Opened in 2013, the majority of their collection came directly from Alma Park Zoo after the zoo’s closure. Since then Wildlife HQ has easily doubled in size and grown to include several new species.

    I first reviewed Wildlife HQ in July 2018 [A Review of Wildlife HQ [Wildlife HQ Zoo]] but since then, the zoo has expanded significantly and evolved into one of my favourite local collections. I intended to visit a bit later in the year around June but considering I had the opportunity to visit today due to the pause on university classes and the uncertain status of future zoo visits, I jumped at the chance.

    Past the gravel carpark, a random paddock for a cow, and the lush vegetation surrounding the zoo, the entrance was modest yet well-designed with large animal photographs printed along the side of the entrance building. Located right outside the ticket office were the first pair of open-topped enclosures, one of which was occupied by the zoo’s newest addition - a male Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. The enclosures were both thickly-planted, fenced with corrugated iron and had climbing platforms and ropes for the tree roo. Rescued from the wild (like most of the Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos in captivity), the zoo plans to pair their male with a female in the near future. South-east Queensland seems to be in a unique position where the most common species of tree kangaroo in local zoos is the Lumholtz’s (four local collections) rather than Goodfellow’s (one local collection).

    Adjacent to the tree kangaroo was a small open-topped enclosure for Guinea Pigs and Rabbits. This particular exhibit is usually a very popular attraction for visitors. Nearby were three standard enclosures for Koala, more Koala and a Quokka. Rufous Bettong was also signed for one of the koala exhibits but wasn’t seen.

    Running along the main pathway of the zoo and opposite these first few exhibits were several modern-looking enclosures for an assortment of animals. All of these enclosures were fenced with corrugated-iron, had glass viewing and were well-furnished with wooden platforms, rocky piles or ponds depending on the species. The first enclosure had a glass-fronted den area and housed a Rufous Bettong. Continuing along the line of exhibits was an enclosure with wooden platforms for a Green Iguana. It’s always nice to see an iguana outdoors in the full sun. Next to the iguana, was an exhibit for Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby. The individuals on-display included the zoo’s adult male and his three juvenile offspring who were extremely active. Beyond that were reptile exhibits for a Perentie, an empty exhibit (map indicates that this will be home to Rhinoceros Iguana), two juvenile American Alligators, a female Saltwater Crocodile and a Freshwater Crocodile. All were built in a similar fashion but all were nicely-done.

    This area also had a small concrete structure which contained the very common mix of Central Bearded Dragon and Eastern Blue-tongue Lizard. At the end of pathway was the future enclosure for the zoo’s White-cheeked Gibbons, complete with a water feature, complex climbing structures and a mature tree. The gibbons will be a big milestone for the zoo. Up a hill were two standard paddocks for a small herd of Blackbuck and a pair of Alpaca.

    Nearby was the zoo’s Reptile Barn which housed the majority of their reptile collection. Opened in 2016 and dedicated to Australia Zoo’s founder and conservationist, Bob Irwin, the Reptile Barn comprised of fifteen well-furnished enclosures showcasing a good variety of species. The species present on my visit were Spotted Tree Monitor, Lace Monitor, Gilbert’s Dragon, Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Central Netted Dragon, Pygmy Spiny-tailed Skink, Rhinoceros Iguana, Corn Snake, South-western Carpet Python, Centralian Carpet (Bredl’s) Python, Black-headed Python, Burmese Python, Boa Constrictor, Freshwater Crocodile and American Alligator. The species line-up is constantly changing and there is always something different or new in this area.

    The final section of the first half of the zoo contained three very different enclosures. The first was a large grassy paddock and stream for their two male Capybara. Next to the capybaras were two large lushly-planted exhibits which ran alongside each other; one for a Southern Cassowary and the other for their Maned Wolves. To finish off the first section I should also mention that the entire area contained random free-ranging poultry: chickens, peafowl, ducks and Helmeted guineafowls.

    The next section of the zoo began with a row of three open-topped enclosures, each containing a Quokka each. Nearby was an aviary-style enclosure for two Diamond Pythons. Situated in a subtropical climate, I always like how Wildlife HQ exhibits several snake species outdoors. Next to the pythons was one of the few bird aviaries at the zoo containing a Bush Stone Curlew, Tawny Frogmouth and Laughing Kookaburra, and featured a rather attractive mural. Adjacent to the aviary was a small enclosure for their Common Wombat.

    This particular area was also a kangaroo walkthrough for Red Kangaroo and Emu (there was no sign of the usual Eastern Grey Kangaroos). Opposite the kangaroos and emus, was a small island exhibit which usually houses their Ring-tailed Lemurs however there were signs of construction (ladders etc) and the lemurs were a no-show. The final enclosure in this area was an aviary-style exhibit for a large Coastal Carpet Python.

    Through a winding trail, you reach the main section of the zoo which began with several free-ranging species: Cape Barren Geese, Emu, Bennett’s Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby, Red Kangaroo and a Fallow Deer. The first two enclosures were signed for Tasmanian Devil however their occupants remained hidden for the duration of my visit. The second enclosure of the pair, which formerly contained Fennec foxes, is fully netted over and has a series of branches and logs. It would make a fantastic quoll enclosure in my opinion. Opposite the devils, was a complex of open-topped enclosures for several groups of Koalas, another Quokka (fourth quokka of the day) and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. There was also another enclosure for a Swamp Wallaby joey and an active group of Long-nosed Potoroo.

    Approaching the exit to this area was a pair of tall and spacious aviaries for Eclectus Parrot and a male Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. Nearby were the nocturnal mammal enclosures which usually house squirrel gliders and short-eared brushtail possums – neither which were seen on my visit today. Instead I saw a Golden Brushtail Possum snoozing in a log. The other enclosure was completely covered over expect for a small portion. I peeked through the hole expecting to find a possum or glider but much to my amazement found a Ring-tailed Lemur munching on a carrot in the dark! I assume this is only temporary until a more appropriate home is found for the lemur. The final enclosure in this area was for a large group of Meerkats. A Cape Porcupine or two wouldn’t look out of place in this generously-sized exhibit.

    Past another gated entry was the location for many of the exotic crowd-pleasers. Enclosures for the Malayan Sun Bear, Binturong (two exhibits with one male in each), Red Panda and African Wild Dog were all well-planted and of an adequate size. The bear had access to hammocks, climbing structures and her night den, and can escape public view.

    Continuing on into the main area of the zoo were fenced exhibits for Dingoes, two standard enclosures for Meerkats and a small enclosure tucked away for a Short-beaked Echidna. I also caught a brief glimpse of Sugar Gliders which are used for guest encounters. Approaching the final trail were two large enclosures for Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs and a small group of Hamadryas Baboons.

    The South American Trail contained several enclosures situated in a shady and more peaceful area of the zoo. The first enclosure seen, which formerly housed capuchins, contained a pair of Cotton-top Tamarins. Continuing on was a glass-fronted exhibit for a large Olive Python. This particular enclosure formerly contained their Green Iguana. The following seven aviary-style enclosures housed the remainder of the zoo’s callitrichid collection: Emperor Tamarin, Pygmy Marmoset (two enclosures), Common Marmoset (two enclosures), Golden Lion Tamarin and another Cotton-top Tamarin enclosure. This trail also had an aviary-style exhibit for a Boa Constrictor and an open-topped exhibit for an American Alligator. The final enclosure seen at the end of the path was for three Black-handed Spider Monkeys.

    Wildlife HQ is a fine example of a privately-run zoo doing great things. The zoo continues to grow and expand and I look forward to seeing how Wildlife HQ will progress over the next couple of years. The exhibit quality, range of notable species and overall visitor experience should be applauded. However, there are three things Wildlife HQ really lacks – birds, birds and more birds! Despite having well-rounded collections of mammals and reptiles, birds don’t seem to be very high on the priority list.

    All in all, I encourage others to visit and share their thoughts about the zoo.

    Species list is below and more photos of the animals and their enclosures can be seen here:
    Wildlife HQ Zoo - ZooChat
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2020
    Zoofan15, Jambo, Brum and 5 others like this.
  2. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

    2 Jul 2018
    Brisbane, Australia
    This is a species list from my visit to Wildlife HQ. Accurate as of 20th March 2020.

    Short-beaked Echidna
    Tasmanian Devil
    Sugar Glider (encounter animals)
    Golden Brushtail Possum
    Common Wombat
    Long-nosed Potoroo
    Rufous Bettong
    Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo
    Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby
    Swamp Wallaby
    Bennett’s Wallaby
    Red Kangaroo
    Ring-tailed Lemur
    Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur
    Common Marmoset
    Pygmy Marmoset
    Golden Lion Tamarin
    Emperor Tamarin
    Cotton-top Tamarin
    Black-handed Spider Monkey
    Hamadryas Baboon
    African Wild Dog
    Maned Wolf
    Malayan Sun Bear
    Red Panda
    Guinea Pig
    Fallow Deer

    Southern Cassowary
    Indian Peafowl
    Cape Barren Goose
    Helmeted Guineafowl
    Bush Stone Curlew
    Laughing Kookaburra
    Tawny Frogmouth
    Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
    Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
    Eclectus Parrot

    American Alligator
    Freshwater Crocodile
    Saltwater Crocodile
    Eastern Blue-tongue
    Pygmy Spiny-tailed Skink
    Central Bearded Dragon
    Central Netted Dragon
    Boyd’s Forest Dragon
    Gilbert’s Dragon
    Lace Monitor
    Spotted Tree Monitor
    Rhinoceros Iguana
    Green Iguana
    Corn Snake
    Boa Constrictor
    Burmese Python
    Black-headed Python
    Olive Python
    Centralian Carpet Python (M. bredli)
    South-western Carpet Python (M. s. imbricata)
    Coastal Carpet Python (M. s. mcdowelli)
    Diamond Python (M. s. spilota)
    Zoofan15, Jambo, Brum and 2 others like this.
  3. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

    2 Jan 2017
    West of the black stump
    Another excellent review!
    WhistlingKite24 likes this.
  4. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

    2 Jan 2017
    West of the black stump
    They seem to do well with primates I hope they expand with them also as you mentioned add a few more birds!
  5. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

    2 Jul 2018
    Brisbane, Australia
    Yes Wildlife HQ has a very nice collection of primates. Looking at Queensland generally, Wildlife HQ currently has nine species (soon to be ten with the gibbons), Darling Downs Zoo has ten species and Australia Zoo only has two!
    Zorro likes this.