Ten Top Tips
Please read through the following tips for a problem-free, successful Zoo visit.
1. Sense of Wonder
The philosophy of Monarto Education is to give students a chance to make choices, take responsibilities and own consequences. As educators, we are at home and have expertise in our outdoor classroom. You are invited to be participants and observers. We will provide your students with opportunities to think, take action, engage, learn, share and experience the zoo with a whole new sense of wonder.
2. Hot weather
· Monarto Zoo closes at 40 °C and over
· No Education programs at 37 °C and over
Monarto experiences EXTREME WEATHER. The decision to close the zoo is made at 4.30pm the day before according to the Murray Bridge forecast on www.weatherzone.com.au
Education Programs will be cancelled at 37 °C as there are no indoor classroom facilities. PLEASE NOTE Monarto Zoo can provide shade for your group, but no air-conditioned areas are available.
We will try our best to reschedule the next appropriate date available for your group or cancel your visit with no cancellation fee.
· Day visits – If you still wish to come to the zoo and do a tour, please consider implementing your own extreme weather action plan. Walking tracks will be closed and keeper talks will not occur.
Please bring own additional water, preferably with ice, for students and an air-conditioned bus is essential!
Your cost of entry will be reduced of the education fee. You will pay entry in to the zoo only ($10 per student)
· Overnight visits – If the zoo has been closed during day 1 of your visit, your overnight program will be cancelled and your deposit refunded.
If the projected temperature for day 2 of your visit is 37 °C or more – you will need to depart the zoo by 10.30am. If this occurs, there will be no refund.
3. Suncare and Hydration
· Every student must bring their own
o Water Bottle
o and have access to sunblock
Monarto does not provide sunblock, hats and drink bottles for students.
Day visits – there is no guarantee of water supply to refill water bottles. To guarantee refills, please bring your own water.
Overnights – the water to refill water bottles is from rain water tanks that can often be warm due to weather.
4. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear
· Closed shoes at all times
· Consider long pants, or at minimum, long socks
Thongs, open sandals and bare legs are not appropriate to participate in education programs. The native vegetation at Monarto Zoo has adapted to survive harsh conditions. It is scratchy, prickly and growing naturally. It provides great habitat for snakes and other reptiles. Appropriate clothing and footwear in these conditions minimizes the risk of scratches and bites.
Your program may be modified if members of the group are inappropriately dressed for the activities.
5. Environmental Respect
Monarto Zoo is a conservation site. Unless directed, please stick to walking tracks to help our fragile habitats. Free range animals are not to be fed or chased. Please ensure all rubbish goes in the bins provided so native animals don’t eat your litter.
6. School meeting areas
· Shelters on grass area opposite Visitors Centre
· Bark Chip area at Visitors Centre entrance
A Zoo Educator or School Host will meet your group on arrival. The shelters on the large grass area and the bark chip area at the entrance of the Visitors Centre are provided for school groups. Please choose one of these spots as your area for the day.
Unless directed, please keep the Bistro Deck free for the general public.
Your bus(es) are not to park at the Monarto Safari bus stops.
7. Animal Viewing Platforms
Viewing Platforms are a respectful place to observe animals. For your safety and animal wellbeing:
· No Running
· Minimize noise in respect for animals and other visitors
· No touching or feeding animals
· No throwing items into exhibits
· Please keep all limbs behind barriers
Viewing platforms are provided for visitors to enjoy animals and observe their natural behaviours in large open spaces. Running and loud noise will upset the animals, lowering your viewing opportunities and spoiling the experience for yourself and others. If you wish to use these viewing platforms to your full advantage (ie have lunch, facilitate your own activities etc) please coordinate with a zoo educator to minimize potential clashes.
Animal Viewing Platforms may be closed due to weather conditions or animal management considerations.
8. Chimpanzee check in
· Report into Tours Desk before visiting the chimpanzees
· Please No knocking on the windows
· Follow animal viewing platform considerations (refer to Top Tip #7)
PLEASE NOTE Due to the animal management protocols involved with housing Chimpanzee – You must report to the Tours Desk when your group is going to visit the Chimpanzee Viewing Platform (time and number of students). This way the keepers can be informed and can monitor chimpanzee behaviours.
9. Gift Shop and Visitors Centre
Please report to the Tours Desk if your group has any problems or accidents.
Students entering the gift shop may do so in small supervised groups. Areas in and around the Visitors Centre are shared with the general public. For the safety and wellbeing of everyone there is No Running and noise levels should be kept to a minimum.
PLEASE NOTE this particularly applies when using the toilets. The zoo would appreciate that toilets are left in a clean state. The electronic soap and paper towel dispenser are not toys. Please ensure their sensible use.
10. Bus Protocols
· Double decker buses are not permitted to do safari tours due to height and animal restrictions in exhibits. Your driver MUST be on the same level as the students for the host to communicate with the driver and the students simultaneously.
· Stretchy (concertina) buses are not permitted to do safari tours due to height and animal restrictions in exhibits.
· Buses with less than 22 seats are not permitted to drive through the lion exhibit during the tour due to risks associated with the exhibit.
· Air conditioning is preferable
· Consider large windows for greater viewing potential.
· The bus must have a working microphone on board for the Monarto Host to communicate effectively with your group during the tour.
· For safety reasons, buses are licensed to carry a legal number of passengers for that bus. Everyone MUST be seated.
· If parents travel to the zoo in private cars, they are only allowed to travel on your bus if there is a seat available for them – otherwise NO TOUR will be available for them (These parents may consider paying the full admission price allowing them to access the Monarto Bus Systems. Times cannot be guaranteed)
· At time of booking you will need to indicate number of buses you will be bringing so Tour Hosts can be allocated.
· Cost penalties may apply for multiple bus groups where any bus has less than 22 seats.
· Buses may be parked in front of your chosen shelter or by the bark chip area. Please keep the Monarto Safari bus stops free.