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Whyalla Fauna Park re-opening

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Chlidonias, 24 Feb 2018.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    While looking into some closed zoos of Australia, I came across an article from last year to do with submissions for the site of the Whyalla Fauna Park in South Australia. As far as I knew the park had closed almost a decade ago (as per this post from 2010 by Steve Robinson: Zoos of Australia). I also found the town council's 2010/2011 annual report online, where it says the park had closed due to rising costs.

    However the 2017 article is accompanied by a photo showing captive macropods which seems to be current, captioned "Six-year-old Kailan Watkins feeding some of the wildlife regularly seen down at the former Whyalla Fauna Park" (Fauna Park open for community). Perhaps the park has always still been "open" - as in some animals remained and it was visitable - despite having officially closed down?

    Regardless, I then found this article from February this year
    Bringing our park to life

    A local family are taking up the task of re-invigorating Whyalla’s Fauna Park, ensuring the steel city will once again have a bevy of unique animals on display.

    Scott Grant, who is a local snake-catcher through his business Ayre Reptiles, described it as the biggest challenge the family have ever taken on.

    “We want to make it bigger and better,” he said.

    “We’ll start off by re-building the facilities that are here. Our end goal will be to have the whole allotment utilised, so we’re going to expand the park side of the walk-through area.”

    Mr Grant said a drive-through safari will be set up in the paddock at the back of the property, featuring animals that are native to Australia.

    ”Down the track we will have some exotic animals here, but our main focus is always going to be animals that are in Australia. We will have some animals like donkeys, camels and buffalos because they occur in the Australian outback.”

    The family have already purchased 150 birds for the park and are raising some young kangaroos.

    ”We keep around 55 snakes as well as a salt water crocodile and some goannas. We’ve also got some dingoes coming from a breeder in Victoria, ” Mr Grant said.

    Currently there are 16 locals looking to help out with the re-build of the park as volunteers. An information night will be held out at the park for anyone else who wants to help out.

    “A couple of local lads that are engineers and boilermakers have volunteered their time and equipment to help us,” Mr Grant said.

    The family have a few sponsors on board with the park re-build, including Deep Blue Aquariums as a wholesaler of equipment for the project.

    The Whyalla Veterinary Clinic are also supporting the re-build.

    Mr Grant said the original goal was to have the park up and running come the April school holidays, but several delays in acquiring the lease for the property may cause it to open later in the year.

    “We’re still aiming for April if we can get a lot of volunteers and get it done quick, but we are being realistic, it may stretch out a little longer than that,” he said.

    “We want to get the place up and going as quick as we can. There’s so many people commenting that they can’t wait to bring their grandkids to the park because they remember coming as kids themselves.”

    Mr Grant said the park would be a ‘great asset’ to Whyalla as both a local and tourist attraction.

    “There’s a lots of seasonal activities in Whyalla like diving with the cuttlefish, but there’s not a huge amount of attractions for kids up here,” he said. “The park is something that families can visit together.”

    The date for the information night will be announced through Facebook on the Ayre Reptiles page.
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2018
  2. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

    29 Jan 2008
    It is not unusual for closed zoos and wildlife parks to house private collections until the land is required for something else, I know of at least four examples I can quote off the top of my head. Perhaps a substantial private collection was retained after the fauna park closed its doors.
  3. Sunbear12

    Sunbear12 Well-Known Member

    14 Feb 2012
    The Whyalla fauna park reopened back in July as Eyre Reptile and Wildlife Park. At present the animals on display are a range of native birds, macropods and reptiles. There is also a blue and gold macaw and some sambar deer. An enclosure for koalas is under construction and dingoes are planned as well.

    I am hoping to get up there at some point in the near future and will provide a review and photos when I do.
    Chlidonias likes this.