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Darling Downs Zoo Darling Downs Developments

Discussion in 'Australia' started by ZYBen, 15 May 2010.

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  1. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    The Darling Downs Zoo will celebrate its 5th Birthday early Next month and as such the first 5 years of projects at the Darling Downs Zoo are nearing an early completion, the nest 5 year plan has commenced. The main focus of the next 5 years will be the African section of the zoo, including the over 25 acre African Savannah area including a new area for our Hamadryas Baboons.

    Below are photos looking from the waterhole (commenced work on the 11th May 2010) taken today.

    The first series go from the south of the waterhole facing north, around to the south, giving you a view of some of the proposed area. The land rises as you head south, so the waterhole is at the area of the lowest laying land.

    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-1a-96817.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-1b-96818.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-1c-96819.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-1d-96820.jpg


    The next series of photos are from the Northern side of the waterhole, the first one looking north east into the zoo towards the Ostrich and, to the left, Lion and egyptian goose yards. and finishing up facing west.

    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2a-96821.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2b-96822.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2c-96823.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2d-96824.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2e-96825.jpg
    http://www.zoochat.com/photo/darling-downs-developments-2f-96826.jpg

    We wish to thank all who have assisted and supported us throughout the first 5 years of development, and hope for their continued support, aswell as the support of the Zoo-going public.

    We will continue to share our experiences, views and new developments with the members of ZooChat Forums.
     
  2. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Congragulations Steve on surviving the first five years. Ihope that there will be many more years of success ahead. The plans sound exciting - oh and by the way, can I have some of that beautiful soil for my vegie garden, pretty please. :D
     
  3. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Can this little preview of the future include a photo of the long-term vision display you said is in the entrance building? :)
     
  4. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    This is all the photos going up :)
     
  5. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Sigh. You're a cruel, cruel man.
     
  6. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    Well Australia isn't that big of a country.
     
  7. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    1,560km is a long, long way when you're a student living out of home. :(
     
  8. brad09

    brad09 Well-Known Member

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    darling downs would be close to a day drive from here possibly more.:)
     
  9. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    Aha - so this is what you do while I am away!!! LOL

    Seriously folks - the first 5 years has been a roller coaster ride. The second 5 years is going to be up and up all the way.

    Sincere thanks to all the ZooChatterers who have supported us.
     
  10. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    jay, the soil is so good here that the bulldozer driver dropped a match the other day and the next day it was a tree!

    However, we are desperately short of rain.
     
  11. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Hi Steve,

    What are the plans for the African savannah exactly?
    What theme? What species assemblage?
    Any definites on completion target?

    Re soil/country. You have so damn fine soil and rangeland over there ... :D

    Regards,

    K.B.
     
  12. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    I had a car like that once!

    These days I can do DDZ to Sydney in about 10 hours.
     
  13. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    G'day K.B,

    The overall plan is to develop 35 [not 25!] acres into a grassland habitat for African species. Given the scarcity of rainfall in our area, it was necessary to construct the waterhole first as it will take several years to fill.

    The species that will eventually live in this habitat have yet to be finally decided on - partly based on eventual availability which will depend on whether or not we are successful in joining ZAA. If we become ZAA members we will be able to participate in programs which could give us access to species such as Cheetah and Giraffe and several African ungulate species.

    If we do not join ZAA we have other options open to us.

    We would like to open range a number of species but feel that the 35 acres will not give us enough land to do that to any great extent. We may end up just running two species in each exhibit.

    In any event, while the water hole is filling, we will construct the Hamadryas Savannah, a perimeter fence around the whole block, roads and paths as well as eucalypt plantings.

    This is the gist of our second five year plan.

    Yes, our soil is "damn fine" but we desperately need good Spring and Summer rain to release it's potential productivity.
     
  14. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    How much land does the Zoo have at its disposal, again?

    It sounds like this savannah will be the overwhelming majority of the land?

    PS. C'mon boss. Make Ben put a photo of the entry building display up. :D
     
  15. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that always the way.
     
  16. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    The current zoo property is 50 acres.

    The existing zoo [what I call the "core" zoo] is 10 acres.

    The African Savvanah is 35 acres.

    The remaining 5 acres is leased to a local farmer.

    More land could be purchased at a later date.

    The "core" zoo is divided into 4 geographical regions but I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't scrap South America and South-east Asia and just concentrate on a basic Aussie collection [for the tourists] and specialise in African fauna for the exotic component of the zoo. Certainly our geography and climate is more akin to Africa than some other parts of the world.

    The problem with that idea is that there are so few African reptiles and birds available in this country [and allowable in this State] to make a balanced collection.
     
  17. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you should scrap either. Maybe emphasise Africa and Australia as the key components of the collection, but in a country like Australia where, even with ZAA membership, the range of species a zoo can obtain is so limited, I think it would be debilitating to your long-term development.

    I'd like to think that in 10 years there will be tigers, otters, gibbons, bears, red pandas, capybaras, tamarins, spider monkeys and tapirs at Darling Downs. Cap your adult admission price at half that of Australia Zoo, have a medium-sized, general collection and Darling Downs will thrive. :)

    PS - am I right in recalling that the property is about a kilometre long, but only 200m wide?
     
  18. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    'Fraid so!

    The Outback has had the best season for 20 years, you blokes on the Coast have had terrific rainfall but here on the eastern Downs we have had SFA.

    Here's hoping for a good Spring.
     
  19. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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    About 220m at it's widest point and 1.3 kilometres long.
     
  20. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member

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