It has been nearly all reptile relocation this month.
“Shrek” the Green Iguana is now on display in his new enclosure in the zoo entrance building. He came to us from Brisbane’s Alma Park Zoo, Queensland in January last year. Shortly after arriving, Shrek made a few public appearances including the Horsham Art Gallery, Hamilton Library and Ararat Library. Since then he has been off display, we thought until we were able to construct a Reptile House, but we have been able to source a suitable display unit that, with some shuffling in the entrance building, enables us to put him on view now.
Sharing his enclosure are Star and Hermann’s Tortoises.
Other additions for public viewing are two Boa Constrictors who now have a home in the Fossil Cave.
The Pygmy Marmoset enclosure is nearly completed ready for their expected arrival on Monday 11th July.
We would like to thank Dianne & team at Pykes Pets & Cycles for their continued support of the zoo and Ian & Heather Seaman from Dulkeith Computer Solutions for their sponsorship of the Giraffe/Zebra Complex.
We are currently finishing off our Veterinary hospital which is located off display. This will enable us to perform all of our operations on site rather than taking animals away as we have had to in the past. Incorporated in this building is a recovery room and attached is a staff lunchroom. All this is not particularly exciting for our visitors but is a key part of our development into a major Zoo.
During May we have made some changes in the entrance building. We have scaled back the artwork to mainly showcase the talent of locals, Ingrid Rudolph (Halls Gap), Grantley Thomas (Moyston), Nicole Konig and Peter Voice (Stawell), James McMurtrie (Pomonal) and a little further afield, Lorraine Collishaw (Ballarat), Chris Hall (Delacombe) and Chris Cope (Bendigo).
With the change in the entrance building we have been able to make room for the hatchling Lace Monitors to be on display.
Later this month we are receiving a pair of Pygmy Marmoset which are the world’s smallest primate species. The female was bred at Perth Zoo and the male at Adelaide so here’s hoping that they fall in love and we can welcome the pitter patter of little feet in the future. This transfer has been in the pipeline for well over twelve months and was delayed because the male, who does the majority of infant care in this species, remained with his parents to learn the skills by helping to rear his younger siblings.
We are also receiving two Eastern Barred Bandicoots soon which will go on display in the Nocturnal House after a quarantine period. This species, that was formerly widespread throughout western Victoria, was thought to be extinct until a small population was found near Hamilton. A captive breeding program at Melbourne Zoo is providing security to the population by producing animals for reintroduction into the wild. Self-supporting populations protected by fox proof fences have been established at Hamilton Community Parklands and Woodlands Historic Park. Re-introduction into the wild without protective fencing has also been undertaken near Skipton, Beaufort, Colac and Branxholme with varying degrees of success. Longer term we are planning to introduce a free ranging population in a large fox proof enclosure on the zoo grounds.
The planning for our Giraffe/Zebra is coming along well. We are in great need of help to finance this exciting project so anyone who feels they would like to help please give us a call as did Raymond Blizzard & Associates – thanks Neil.
The Today Show
Just before Easter we hosted the Today Show with Steve here for the weather crossovers. Very early start to set up (4.30am) and then the showers caused a few changes to our planned activities but still great exposure for the zoo and the region as a whole with highlighting the National Park, the Stawell Gift and Grampians Grape Escape Wine & Food Festival. A big thank you to Grampians Tourism and Tourism Victoria for organising this.
We had excellent visitation over Easter with many taking the opportunity to experience one of the encounters available – feeding the meerkats, going in with the dingoes or holding a snake, alligator or chameleon.
The fundraising has started thanks to the first of our sponsors, Barry Alexander (Surgeon) and Tony Crabtree (farmalinx – Partners in Agriculture).
WATCH THIS SPACE
GIRAFFE & ZEBRA ARE ON THEIR WAY
It has been an exciting month with notification that we have been allocated giraffe and zebra in this year’s Australia-wide zoo recommendations. With all going according to plan we are aiming at having them here by the end of the year. Contact Greg or Yvonne if you are interested in being involved as special sponsorship packages are available.
Looking for something to do to amuse the children over the holidays? Bring them to the zoo with a bbq or picnic lunch for a great day out for all the family. We are open every day 10am to 5pm.