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Orana Wildlife Park Orana Park -- Christchurch

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Nigel, 7 Oct 2005.

  1. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    I visited here last month ( my third visit )

    This park is out in the countryside , about 10 km from town . It is generally dead flat , except for mounds of shingle from the nearby river .
    It originally started as NZs first "Drive through Lion safari park" and was basically that for the first few years . However , the visitors were doing foolish things and risking life and limb every day , so the drive through section was abandoned and the park turned into more of an open range zoo .

    There is a good range of animals to see , and the enclosures are of a generous size and are generally compatible to the animals that are in them . There are no pits , bars etc that most good zoos are trying hard to replace as fast as they can . Alot of the grazing animals have several acre enclosures .
    The african plains animals are arranged in a long strip , but other animals are not put into obvious geographic regions as in some zoos .

    The best people that helped me out with information about the zoo are retired volunteers who help out at the zoo -- the keepers were busy with other tasks to do more than the daily talk/feed sessions

    Although the zoo has over 1000 acres of land available , only a small amount of this is developed into the "zoo" This led me to remark about the Australasian Zoos elephant acquisition programme ( see other threads )
    Orana has the space , but not the $$s , skills and enclosure to accept any elephants in the foreseeable future .

    Orana Park is unusual in that it is primarily a transfer zoo for animals between zoos , while more permanent homes are being built . However , they have had breeding successes for themselves , notably cheetahs and kiwis ( but also rare geckos and tuataras ) Their main goal is for display and educational purposes -- I was very surprised to learn that !!

    Although it is possible to walk around the zoo , there is a zoo mobile pulled by a tractor and the driver points out various features along the way .... but the zoo covers about 150 acres of accessibility --- too much for young children on a hot day .
    There is a gift shop , a cafe , toilets , adventure playground , and dozens of pinic spots dotted around the park . The most noticable feature of this zoo ( as opposed to the other 3 main zoos in NZ ) is S P A C E ...... lots of it

    The zoo is currently building a sumatran tiger enclosure , but this is in the early stages at this point of time .
    Apart from the rhino/springbok exhibit , there are no other mixed species enclosures . The information staff couldnt figure out why any zoo would want to do so , and assured me that there was heaps of room at Orana Park .....
    My guess is that it is similar to a 30 year old Monarto Zoo . Nothing of real outstanding nature ( either positive or negative ) but it is a pleasant zoo in its own right . It does not get any funding from the city council /local shires and has to rely on gate sales and donations/sponsorships . Fortunately as it is the only "zoo" of any size in the South Island , it has a high visitor rate
     
  2. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Argyllshire
  3. NZ Jeremy

    NZ Jeremy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Dec 2007
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    1,106
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Good review, thanks for that... I'm suprised to learn it doesn't receive any Council funding, its amazing they can stay open let alone build new exhibits... I must get down there and visit sometime...
     
  4. kiwipo

    kiwipo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    282
    Location:
    Wellington NZ
    Well worth a visit, I spent several months as a volunteer at Orana, and really enjoyed it, I was sorry to leave.
    The Tiger enclosure has bene up and running for a few years now, with two male tigers in residence.
    A new lion house was opened last year, and the lions now have two large enclosures to wander about in, though being lions they usually lie about.
    Two males are on loan from Wellington Zoo, and have been busy mating with the lionesses since they arrived.
    Cheetah cubs were recently born at the park, cheetahs are very difficult to breed in captivity and Orana has had a lot of sucess in this field.
    The zoo has several animal encounters, visitors can feed giraffe by hand, ride in a cage on the back of a truck into the lion enclosure, feed lemurs by hand, and get up close to tigers and cheetah.
     
  5. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    24 Jun 2009
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    6,267
    Location:
    UK
    Any plans for a female tiger?
     
  6. Pygathrix

    Pygathrix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22 Aug 2007
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    1,299
    Location:
    UK
    What's happened to Nigel, he was a good poster and hasn't been on here for months?
     
  7. NZ Jeremy

    NZ Jeremy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    1,106
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    He was always a periodic poster it seemed to me, maybe he has fallen off checking up..?
     
  8. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Jan 2004
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    1,910
    Location:
    brisbane, qld, australia
    I keep in contact with Nigel. He just doesn't have the time anymore to post or even look.
     
  9. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    12 Aug 2007
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    6,238
    Location:
    Argyllshire
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Glad its now doing ok, Thanks for the news Kiang