our ambassador



We are slowly coming out of drought following some good rainfalls.  If we can get some good follow-up rains then that burden should be substantially lifted.

However, the effects of Covid-19 will be with us all for some time to come - particularly as it hit us while the drought was still having an impact.

Fortunately we live in the luckiest country in the world and we on the Darling Downs are doubly lucky.  The zoo has received enormous help and support from a wide section of the population and is extremely grateful for it.  It is no exaggeration to say that we may have had to close permanently without it.

At the moment, following the rain, we could use some hardy plants to replenish our gardens and try to beautify the zoo. Philodendron [Monsteria] species are always welcome - especially Xanadu.



November 2019

  The zoo is currently battling the effects of the worst drought in living memory.


We are having to feed much more supplementary animal food-- just as the cost of that food has skyrocketed.  And the weight of hay bales has decreased!!

Additionally, the cost of services, wages and utilities has increased enormously.

The zoo does not receive any support from any level of government to help us to cope with this problem.  The well deserved aid packages that go to farmers and regional businesses and councils do not come to us.

Our visitation figures are now being affected because the country landscape is so barren and uninviting that people do not want to travel from the nice green coastal fringe to see it.

Our dam has run dry and our tank water is being rationed.  The zoo has two bores but, with the amount of underground extraction activities on the Downs associated with agriculture and mining, there is no way of truly telling just how much water is left underground.  Therefore we have stopped watering our gardens and many thousands of dollars worth of plants have already died. This is the reality of drought.

There is no more belt tightening left for us to do - we need help but we don't want charity.

Please encourage your friends and neighbours to visit the zoo during this difficult time.  The sight of the country in drought will not be a pretty one for them but they will come away with a real understanding of how Aussies fight their way through tough times.  They will remember these sights for the rest of their lives.

And their admission money will help us to hang on until the drought breaks!





The Darling Downs Zoo has been accepted into the European program to breed the endangered Sri Lankan Leopard.  This is a huge honour as, to date, only one other Australian zoo has been accepted into this program - the National Zoo in Canberra being the other.

Late in 2020 we will receive a breeding pair of these beautiful, but Endangered, Leopards.  In cooperation with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and our own Australian Zoo and Aquarium Association we will breed Leopards here to support the global captive conservation efforts.

We now need to construct a breeding facility and are raising the necessary funds to do so. This project will cost us about a quarter of a million dollars to develop and, as we do not get any government grants to assist us, we would be grateful for any help that we can get.  We need lengths of steel, sheets of mesh, sheets of Colourbond, paint, concrete, plywood, timber poles, rocks [big ones!] and plants galore in order to create a naturalistic home for the Leopards.  Please phone us or email us if you are able to help in any way - we would love to hear from you.  


Mrs Lilian Lorraway Tigell - sadly our beloved Lilian has passed away at the wonderful age of 102.  She will never be forgotten by us.

The Darling Downs Zoo is a privately owned and operated facility and receives absolutely no support from any Government department. We therefore rely heavily on the patronage of the zoo-going public. We could not sustain our animals or maintain and improve our conservation and education initiatives without your support and without the added backing of our benefactors and commercial partners.

Here's how you can help!


Keep on coming! We are constantly building and improving enclosures to house our ever increasing family of rare and beautiful animals. We couldn't do this without your support and you can continue to visit in the knowledge that you will see new attractions while supporting a very worthwhile endeavour.


We are extremely grateful to the many benefactors who have donated money to the zoo, engaged in fund raising activities for us or have honoured us with bequests. Please talk to us about what you can do to help our projects in this way and what we can do to immortalise your memory here at the zoo.

Not all of our benefactors help us with financial support. We are equally grateful to those of you who donate plants to beautify the zoo, fertiliser, animal food, use of machinery, paper and ...... time!


Others support our efforts by volunteering their time. Without them we would have a much more difficult job to keep the gardening up to date, observe animal activities, keep the shop clean, distribute brochures and all those little jobs that we just "never have time to do"!


We also receive some very worthwhile assistance from the corporate sector. Corporate events have been held at the zoo, our corporate colleagues have tagged us on their television commercials, we have received donations of building and fencing materials, machinery hours, ponds, pools, printing and graphic design skills to name just a few.

In return for their support, and to enhance the value that they can get from their relationship with us, we can give our commercial partners special activities, out of normal hours visits, access to our unique facilities and commercial opportunities that are available to no-one else.

We could not have reached the stage that we are at now without the support that we have received from these individuals and businesses:

  • Mrs Lilian Lorraway Tigell - our wonderful zoo ambassador!  Lilian recently passed away at the age of 102.  A life well spent!
  • Clive Berghofer Group
  • Michael Maher - Quarry and Gravel
  • Mark and Karlene Robinson and Family
  • Jenny and Trevor Radke
  • Joyce and the late Barry Bell
  • The Brett Turkington family
  • Colin and Gwen Embrey