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Adelaide Zoo Launches Bamboo Plantation at Bolivar

Friday, June 19, 2009 5:04pm
bolivar-240x180.jpg

MEDIA RELEASE

Zoos SA CEO Dr Chris West says the Adelaide Zoo’s giant pandas will arrive in October, but the process of ensuring they will be well fed is underway.
 
The eight-hectare plantation of bamboo has been planted at Bolivar and should be ready for harvesting within 12 months.
 
SA Water has leased the land to the Zoo under a 20-year agreement and will ensure the necessary infrastructure to water the plantation is in place.
 
“The importance of this plantation cannot be stressed enough, as without it we would have great difficulty meeting the requirements of the pandas,” Dr West says.
 
Wang Wang and Funi will each require about 20 kg of bamboo a day after they settle in Adelaide.
 
Mr Lugg says the large quantities of bamboo are consumed because the plant is very low on nutritional content.
 
The Bolivar site should be able to provide all the bamboo required by the pandas within two years, he says.
 
“Until then, we hope the public will continue to support the Zoo and the pandas by allowing us to cut bamboo from their properties,” Mr Lugg says.
 
Members of the public wishing to contribute to the bamboo collections can register on the Zoos SA website,
 
The registry already helps maintain a constant supply of bamboo for the Zoo’s four Red pandas.
 
Dr West says eight species of bamboo have been planted at Bolivar to ensure Wang Wang and Funi have a varied diet. The species are Phyllostachys aurea, Phyllostachys nigra, Bambusa old hamii, Bambusa multiplex fernleaf, Bambusa multiplex Alfonse Karr, Bambusa ventricose, Shibatea kumasaca and Pseudosasa japonica.
 
“Bamboo from the plantation has already been sampled by our Red pandas and they have given it the seal of approval,” Dr West says.
 
SA Water Chief Executive Anne Howe says SA Water is proud to be involved in assisting Zoos SA to supply the bamboo for Adelaide’s Giant Pandas.
 
“Our site at Bolivar provides a great location to grow the bamboo because of its size and also the availability of treated wastewater from the nearby wastewater treatment plant for watering purposes,” Ms Howe says.  
 
“We have contributed $40,000 for the infrastructure upgrade to ensure the irrigation system is suitable for watering the bamboo.
 
“The arrival of the pandas in October will be great for South Australia and the Adelaide Zoo, and SA Water is excited to be a partner in this project.” 

Comments

A few members that I know and myself bought bamboo plants for the pandas and we were told that we would able to go to see the bamboo plantation at sometime in the near future. Any news on when this is likely to be?
It has been a while now.
Posted By: Christine Rutherford on Sunday, April 17, 2011 11:39pm
@Christine: We have had a risk assessment of the Bolivar site and it was deemed too unsafe to allow members of the public onto it, so unfortunately there will not be any tours or opportunities for the public to visit. Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks again for your bamboo donation to help feed our Giant Pandas.
Posted By: Zoos SA on Thursday, April 28, 2011 4:04pm

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