June has been a massive month for the Darling Downs Zoo.
BIRTHDAY The zoo celebrated it's 10th birthday this month. As we look back, it is sometimes hard for us to remember that this was just a horse paddock with trees on it just a few short years ago - no buildings, no power, no water, nothing to even remotely indicate that a thriving zoo could be developed here.
This zoo could certainly never have reached it's present stage without the support, hard work and belief in it that we continue to receive from our past and present staff, their families, our suppliers, our colleagues in all areas of the exhibited animal world, our visitors and our own family.
The first ten years were just the first stage - the years ahead will see huge developments here with massive benefits for our animals, our staff and our visitors.
Thank you to all of you who continue to give us such strength.
MEERKATS Coinciding with our birthday celebrations is the icing on the cake! The Queensland State government has approved the Darling Downs Zoo to be the first zoo ever in this State to keep Meerkats. This charismatic species has been seen in zoos in other Australian states for the past 40 years but has always been denied to us here in Queensland. We are very grateful that the former Primary Industry Minister, John McVeigh, started the ball rolling toward approving this, and some other, species. We are particularly grateful that his successor in the new government, Primary Industry Minister Bill Byrne, kept that ball rolling and announced approval of the species as one of the first acts of the new government.
Our first Meerkats will be arriving just in time for the Winter school holidays and more will arrive in the coming weeks.
ACCREDITATION To round off our month, the Darling Downs Zoo has just been welfare accredited by our industry body, the Zoo and Aquarium Association [ZAA]. We regard this as huge achievement for us as a comparatively new, family owned, regional zoo. It is quite humbling to know that our peers understand and appreciate the huge amount of effort that our entire team put into making this a good place for animals to live.
It's been a great month!