THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!!
After a huge amount of work by our industry Zoo and Aquarium Association, in conjunction with some of the State’s participating zoos, we have had an Industry Covid SAFE PLAN accepted by the Queensland government.
This means that the Darling Downs Zoo will be open again from 9am Wednesday 10 June. There are a few rules that we will all have to follow:
- If you are unwell, or are exhibiting Covid like systems, please do not come to the zoo until you are feeling better.
- We are not allowed to admit you if you are not well.
- Visitor numbers will be limited to government approved social distancing guidelines. This will not be a problem to us as our zoo covers 122 acres of wide open country.
- Personal social distancing will be required.
- Oral and hand hygiene must be practiced. We have hand sanitising points throughout the zoo and soap dispensers for hand washing located at the amenities block.
- You are required to give us your name, address and phone number for the lead person in each group of entrants.
- Keeper talks are not yet allowed in order to minimise the gathering of people in a group. Please feel free to ask any of our staff any questions that you may have about the zoo and our animals. We all love a chat!
- For the same reason we will not be offering crocodile and snake photo opportunities until further notice.
- Personal Animal Encounters are still available but our keepers will insist on social distancing between participants and also between you and the animals as appropriate.
- When ordering food and drinks, please place your order, receive your order number and wait outside the shop until your number is called.
We are all looking forward to welcoming you back to Queensland’s largest and most diverse regional zoo. There have been lots of new arrivals while we have been closed – Kyle a rehab Koala who can’t be released to the wild; Balu, our beautiful young Komodo Dragon; Lenny, a critically endangered Addax baby, a gorgeous pair of endangered Golden-lion Tamarins, Emperor Tamarin babies, Agouti babies and five critically endangered Radiated Tortoises. The Tortoises had been illegally poached from the island of Madagascar and were being smuggled through Hong Kong when they were seized several years ago. After all of the government processes were completed the Darling Downs Zoo imported over 20 of them to take part in a species management program with other Australian zoos. The whole project was one of the most difficult and protracted imports that we have ever undertaken, but the good news is that all of the tortoises have now been placed with participating zoos. We are incredibly thankful to our colleagues at Zoos South Australia, without whose support this happy outcome would not have been possible. Our zoo has retained five of the imported animals to join our existing five and we are looking forward to seeing these ten critically endangered little animals forming the basis of a breeding program here at the Darling Downs Zoo.
Some of these newcomers have not experienced visitors before so not all will be on display all of the time.