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Would Mareeba/Shambala have worked if it was in Brisbane area?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by steveroberts, 3 Nov 2016.

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  1. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I dont know anything about Mareeba/Shambala/whatever. I know where it was and a few scraps of news about staff not being paid and change of ownership. As an animal fan I did look at a list of which species were going to be housed at the zoo when it first opened and found out about its existence when I asked perth zoo in early 2004 where the Syrian Brown Bear brother and sister had been re-homed.

    Anywho I have been obsessed since a kid as to why Brisbane (excluding Alma Park here no offense) has never had a decent zoo. Now Australia Zoo and any other places nearby (I assume Darling Downs is given the name) but yeah i'm not including them as I wanted to put Mareeba as the hypothetical. I would like to hear opinions and knowledge from anyone willing as to why Mareeba did not work, what was the animals quality of life like etc.

    I couldnt help thinking when I learned about Mareeba 12 years ago "er....Brisbane is a major city still zooless after all these decades (again apologies to Alma Park lovers but I kind of see it as an exotic Wildlife Park, although I adore Sun Bears of course and would like to think they had a good life there along with the other animals that lived there like the primates, Leopard, dingoes, marsupials, camels, water buffalo etc)}. What I guess I mean is a zoo that has at least one representative from each (well most) mammal families (and birds, reptiles but anywho).

    I suppose its just theres potential for these large private zoos provided animal quality of life and conservation are the upmost priority and I'd love to hear from you all about it with all the realities involved in the current, past and future challenges there are/were.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2016
  2. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    btw have visited Mogo a few times over the years and see a lot of future potential for animal quality of life housing/enclosures if the land to the side were to be bought (whatever doesnt already belong to Sally) for expansion purposes.
     
  3. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    btw I have no personal opinion on Mareeba-Shambala. Would like to know aswell if the closure was a postive for the resident animals.
     
  4. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

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    If you have looked at the photos in the gallery, you will see the zoo was a fantastic place with huge open natural enclosures, the main reason for its demise as I understand it, is/was its location - too far out of town with no public transport. Cairns relies on tourism which is seasonal. I thought Shambala had a lot of good things going for it - it was the only place in far north QLD to see the type of animals it had, but I suspect the exotic animals where not the type of animals that tourists wanted to see - tourists want the cuddly koalas and kangaroos or crocodiles, none of which where on display there.
     
  5. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Ok well that answers something for me .... they should have chosen Brisbane area. The place is long overdue for a zoo and surely a property of the same size as Mareeba could have been purchased. Surely the 2 million plus population of Brisbane would have likely been enough for sustaining its needed visitor numbers. Sorry i tend to ask questions a lot before i do my own investigating, research or general searching. I've been very pro- a Brisbane zoo for many years now.
     
  6. kiwimuzz

    kiwimuzz Member

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    it's complicated
    I was fortunate to visit Cairns Wildlife Safari several times, before it became Shambala. It was a great place, with a interesting collection of exotic wildlife. It failed mainly because of its location and its lack of Aussie fauna for the international tourists. It was probably too expensive for the local market to visit on a regular basis.
    I have read elsewhere on this forum of the difficulties experienced in booking tours / getting the phone answered. Cairns is a tourism town and has a vast number of animal / nature tourism products. I think a lot of tour desks stopped promoting Shambala due to difficulties with making tour bookings.
    Some of the animals were relocated to other Zoos in Australia. (other forum members would have a clearer idea of the animals involved.) But, sadly the majority of the wildlife was sold and ended up flying to a zoo in Indonesia. I doubt that they now have the space that they once enjoyed in Cairns.
    I do miss the pigmy hippo enclosure - it was huge and one of the most successful in Australia. The Rhino enclosure was also great - if you wolf whistled at the rhino if would come running from the other side of the paddock.
    The Zoo was well laid out and had large and modern enclosures and a very interesting collection of exotics. Lions, Cheetahs, Dingoes, Rhino, Hippo, Pygmy Hippo, Syrian Bears, Japanese Macaques, Lemurs, Spider Monkeys, gibbons, otters. (from memory)
    Cairns is now without a zoo specialising in exotic mammals (with the recent closure of Cairns Tropical Zoo.), but it is still well represented with animal attractions - BirdWorld, Koala World, the Venom Zoo, Butterfly Sanctuary all in Kuranda, Hartleys Crocodiles, Rainforrestation, Wildlife Habitat.... not to mention the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest..... it is still a great place to visit.
     
  7. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Oh cool thanks, good to know :) i mean not now for the poor animals moved to smaller enclosures thats heartbreaking. Wish it lasted if it had good facilities for its residents
     
  8. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Obviously there is a historical context (or lack of) for why Brisbane does not have a metropolitan zoological gardens, while the other capitals do (I'm sure I have read something previously, but does anybody know the basic facts?). As I don't know the city well enough, is there suitable space for a collection based in Brisbane, even if it was a private collection? Would it be a feasible business given most tourists head further north? Obviously it has the stable population which is nearly twice the size of Adelaide and nearly 8 times bigger then Canberra. Is there too much competition - ie. is Australia Zoo and Lone Pine too close? I guess between them they cover the 'koalas and crocs' tourism.
     
  9. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

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    its not as simple as saying they should have built in Brisbane rather than Cairns - the 2 cities, whilst still in the same state are almost as far apart as Brisbane is to Melbourne. I'm sure they had their reasons for building a zoo where they did at the time, it must be one of the shortest lived zoos in recent history, yet they built up impressive facilities in the short space of time. The down side to their situation was a lack of breeding opportunities for most species they kept - the primates were all single sex or indivuals, the cheetahs were old retired animals as were the bears and otters, the tigers did breed a few times but mostly only the lions and pygmy hippos were successful.
     
  10. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    still would have thought a major private (or even government funded) zoo in Brisbane (a major city) would have worked and been another potential facility for aiding and breeding endangered species both native and exotic (Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats etc.) Call me a dreamer but ..... yeah i'm just surprised Alma Park didnt get into some sort of expansion in the 90s or something like that. Basically i see it now as could of been not should happen. Theres a lot of private zoos in south qld now i guess
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2016