We’re thrilled to share our exciting vision for our zoos!

The Zoos SA Master Plan sets a vision for the transformation of both Adelaide and Monarto Zoos over the next 20 years and aims to create new and exciting memories for our members, supporters and visitors.

The proposed plan sets the course for how we’ll deliver against our mission, vision and goals through our internationally renowned sites, programs and people in addition to guiding our infrastructure and animal collection plans.

It will enhance our capacity to safeguard animal species both within zoo gates and beyond as well as create valuable visitor experiences while connecting people with nature in an exciting and immersive environment.

To discover more about our exciting vision, please scroll down or download the plan below.

Zoos SA Master Plan

Zoos SA Master Plan Executive Summary

Nature’s Playground

This unique playground at Adelaide Zoo incorporates all elements of the natural world; where children can play in different habitats and see, touch, smell and connect directly with nature. It will add to an enjoyable family experience giving children the opportunity to play and exercise while also allowing parents the chance to relax and enjoy a coffee.

Adelaide Zoo Nature's Playground -  Artist Impression Greg Holfeld Web

The Nature’s Playground development has been designed to cater for all children. A special partnership with Variety SA has ensured the playground will have excellent facilities for those with special needs.

The playground will include aerial walkways, climbing structures, water play features and plenty of opportunities for children of all abilities to have fun, challenge themselves, learn about nature and explore the world around them.

The playground is the first major project from the Master Plan launched in February 2015 to get off the ground. Construction will be completed in time for the 2015 Christmas holiday period.

Zoos SA continues to seek like-minded organisations to partner with to help bring to life the projects listed in our Master Plan.

AdelaideZooMapWeb

Nature’s Playground and Aussie Icons

Our vision is to create a unique playground that incorporates all elements of the natural world; where children can play in different habitats and see, touch, smell and connect directly with nature. It will add to an enjoyable family experience giving children the opportunity to play and exercise while also allowing parents the chance to relax and enjoy a coffee.

The playground aims to have climbing platforms designed on Nature Play Principles featuring aerial walkway, river views, water play features, an interactive Children’s Zoo with native animals, new habitats to showcase Australian animals, photo opportunities with koalas (non-contact), a multi-purpose indoor centre, high impact penguin exhibit, new Visitor Information Hub and function area.

NaturesPlaygroundIllustration

 Into Africa

The proposed Into Africa development aims to introduce a new ambassador species to Adelaide Zoo, the fascinating and endangered Western Lowland Gorillas. In addition we plan to create a state-of-the-art lion habitat and new exhibits to showcase African animals that include a walk-through aviary, aerial animal walkways and an interactive exhibit for meerkats.

InfoAfricaGorilla

River views will complement the setting of an African Village Marketplace with the capacity to hold presentations, functions and pop-up revenue opportunities.

InfoAfricaIllustration

 

To discover more about our exciting vision for Adelaide Zoo download the plan.

Zoos SA Master Plan

 

MonartoZooMapWeb

Predator Experience

The Predator Experience aims to bring participants face to face with one of the world’s ultimate predators as participants enter into the den of Australia’s largest lion pride.

PredatorExperience

This thrilling experience turns the public into the main attraction as the lions circle within metres of participants.

MonartoZooPredatorExperience

 

Visitor Centre

Our proposed new Visitor Centre will be located in an area of Monarto Zoo that is more accessible to the public. It will also allow visitation to a café, gift shop and playground without having to purchase entry to the zoo.

MonartoZooVisitorCentre

In addition, it is proposed to introduce a Free-flight presentation to this zone featuring birds of prey. The plains of Monarto Zoo are a perfect location for this type of animal experience and we anticipate it will be a welcomed addition to our already exciting line-up of animal experiences.

MonartoZooFreeFlight

 

Wild Africa Safari-style Accommodation

Our vision is to introduce safari-style accommodation at Monarto Zoo that will give visitors the unique opportunity to stay overnight in one of the world’s largest open-range zoos. Imagine waking for an early morning start, heading off on a safari with a small group, before having a luxury breakfast in the middle of the area. The precinct will also include a restaurant in addition to exclusive animal experiences.

MonartoZooSafariAccommodation

This unique accommodation option will complement the Monarto experience and open up additional opportunities for visitors and travellers. The proposed development could include bush cabins suitable for families and luxury safari tents perfect for a romantic getaway or special occasion.

To discover more about our exciting vision for Monarto Zoo download the plan.

Zoos SA Master Plan

I want my future zoo to be…

JayWeatherillMP

… to be built on education and research excellence, attracting increasing number of visitors and tourists by capitalising on Adelaide’s growing vibrancy, and becoming an integral part of the outstanding Riverbank redevelopment.

The Hon Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia

I want my future zoo to be…

StephenMarshallMP

… to be long and prosperous so that many more generations can enjoy coming face to face with some of the world’s most fascinating animals.

Both zoos are among the best in the world when it comes to offering interactive experiences for visitors. The zoo keepers also do a great job in making sure the animals are happy, healthy and that they feel right at home.

Out state’s zoos must continue their great work in educating the community on the importance of animal and habitat conservation to ensure we protect our ecosystem for centuries to come.

Steven Marshall, State Liberal Leader

I want my future zoo to be…

GraceCullenAdelaideZooVisitor

… to feature big enclosures, good viewing spots and house a wide variety of both exotic and native animals.

Grace Cullen, Adelaide Zoo Visitor

I want my future zoo to be…

IanHunterMP

… to be places where people, young and old, return to time and time again to observe and learn about nature and conservation and be inspired to fight for a healthier and more sustainable environment.

The Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

I want my future zoo to be…

RodneyHarrexSATC

… to build experiences based around the consumer and our visitors to ensure it is a part of the story of what there is to do in Adelaide and South Australia.

Rodney Harrex, CE South Australian Tourism Commission

We want to ensure that the next chapter in our history is exciting, engaging and that we continue to be a leader in our field!

We encourage the community to join us and be part of something bigger by becoming a member of the zoo family. Along with unlimited free entry to both Adelaide and Monarto Zoos, you’ll also be helping to protect species not just in our backyard but across the globe.

Zoo members will also be amongst the first to learn how they can get involved with the exciting future plans for the zoo.

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With such a diverse plan that stretches over 20 years, we know you’re bound to have a few questions. We’ve put together the following Q&A to help explain some of the proposed developments and key changes envisioned for Adelaide Zoo. Don’t forget you can also download a copy of the plan.

Zoos SA Master Plan

Will my favourite animal remain at the zoo?

As part of the proposed new developments, we’ll be introducing some new ambassador species to Adelaide Zoo; the endangered Western Lowland Gorilla, Sri Lankan Leopard, Komodo Dragon, Ruffed Lemur and the Pygmy Hippopotamus just to name a few.

Some animals will be leaving Adelaide Zoo for their new home at Monarto Zoo, these species include the giraffes and baboons. This is unlikely to occur for several years until we’re ready to begin the developments in the areas they currently reside.

We recognise every zoo supporter and visitor has their favourite animals or exhibits; it is unlikely we can accommodate for all. We must work within the constraints of not only the physical footprint of our sites, with Adelaide Zoo being one of the smallest Australian city zoos, but also the animals that are available to us from within regional zoos or are able to be imported under existing Australian import restrictions.

The proposed plan will also increase the size and quality of exhibits for many animals cared for at Adelaide Zoo, in addition to facilitating further environmental enrichment by providing animals more opportunities for choice and movement through the zoo via aerial walkways and keeper walks and presentations.

Another consideration was to plan for animals more suited to the site and climate by adopting a ‘right species – right site’ approach, e.g. Monarto is better suited to large herd animals from semi-arid environments, whereas Adelaide Zoos is better suited to smaller species from more temperate environments.

Further, we rely on the collections of other regional zoos in Australasia to access new animals or suitably relocate our own animals when breeding efforts have been successful. In addition, national import restrictions apply to Australia and New Zealand and have changed over the life of the zoo. This means that some of our favourite long-lived animals at Adelaide Zoo won’t be replaceable and that animals not currently in regional zoo collections may be hard to secure. Unless regulations were to change, Adelaide Zoo would not be able to import flamingos, many bird species and sloths in particular.

It is important to remember that Adelaide Zoo is one of the smallest city zoos in Australia and within our physical footprint we can only house a certain amount of animals that require larger habitats or certain habitat requirements.

Will you lose any of our significant or historical buildings at either site?

Adelaide Zoo’s significant and historic buildings are proposed to be retained and improved for better public engagement, this includes the Thomas Elder Rotunda and Elephant House. Any relocation of memorial seats or plaques will be discussed with the families involved.

The Bretag homestead at Monarto Zoo will ideally be partially restored and will host a tribute to Aussie settler life. The precinct will include a conservation exhibit, Mallee Trail and an Aboriginal Knowledge Trail and bush camp.

Why are you keeping lions at Adelaide Zoo and not giraffes as well?

As part of the Into Africa proposed vision during the latter half of the 0-5 year development period, the giraffes will be relocated to Monarto Zoo where we house Australia’s largest giraffe herd.

The proposed development will include a large new state-of-the-art lion habitat that will house a bachelor group of lions. In the wild young males leave the pride at around the age of two; housing a bachelor group of lions will allow us to mirror the natural behaviour of a wild pride, maintain a breeding group at Monarto and provide the best outcome for all individuals.

It is important to remember that Adelaide Zoo is one of the smallest city zoos in Australia and within our physical footprint we can only house a certain amount of animals that require larger habitats.

Monarto provides a wonderful environment for giraffe where they can live in a herd environment, something that would not be possible at Adelaide Zoo. The new lion habitat destined for the Into Africa precinct will be twice the size of the area the lions currently reside and supports the need to house a breeding pride of lions and their male offspring.

How will you pay for the developments proposed in the plan?

The vision includes proposed major commercial developments that would be staged over the 20 year life of the plan, the first of which will be a Nature’s Playground and Aussie Icons precincts at Adelaide Zoo, and the Predator Experience at Monarto Zoo.

Our vision for the 0-5 year time period of the plan is to commence development of the new Gatehouse, Visitor Centre and overnight safari-style accommodation projects for Monarto Zoo in addition to the Into Africa precinct at Adelaide Zoo.

Funding for the plan will be realised through our annual operating budget, which we hope will be bolstered by the corporate sector, government and public fundraising. As a charity focused on wildlife conservation, we rely on support from external funding.

We will also investigate the opportunity to enter into third-party partnerships to enable certain projects within the vision plan to be realised, for example, to engage a business partner to develop and manage the Monarto Zoo safari-style accommodation project.

With such a diverse plan that stretches over 20 years, we know you’re bound to have a few questions. We’ve put together the following Q&A to help explain some of the proposed developments and key changes envisioned for Monarto Zoo. Don’t forget you can also download a copy of the plan.

Zoos SA Master Plan

What animals will you be introducing to Monarto Zoo in the future?

Currently we have plans to introduce Ring-tailed Lemurs and Hamadryas Baboons from Adelaide Zoo, in addition to Maned Wolves, Nyala, and if appropriate Lowland Gorillas and African Elephants.

The introduction of gorillas to the site would be based upon the introduction of a bachelor group or breeding group at Adelaide Zoo. Should Adelaide introduce a breeding group, we may require facilities to house a bachelor group at Monarto Zoo.

We would very much like to house African Elephants one day at Monarto Zoo. To do so it would be a very cost intensive and be based upon the availability of a family group.

Will you introduce elephants to Monarto Zoo?

We would very much like to house African Elephants at Monarto Zoo one day. To do so it would be a very cost intensive and be based upon the availability of a family group. If this desire was to be realised it would most likely be towards to the latter half of the 20 year vision.

Will I be able to stay overnight at Monarto Zoo?

Our vision is to develop safari-style accommodation at Monarto Zoo that will complement the experience and open up additional opportunities for visitors and travellers to the region. This will include bush cabins suitable for families and luxury safari options perfect for a romantic getaway or special occasion. The proposed precinct could also include a restaurant and self-catering BBQ facilities in addition to exclusive animal experiences.

To realise this vision, we will investigate the opportunity to engage a business partner to manage this aspect of the development.

How will you pay for the developments proposed in the plan?

The vision includes proposed major commercial developments that would be staged over the 20 year life of the plan, the first of which will be a Nature’s Playground and Aussie Icons precincts at Adelaide Zoo, and the Predator Experience at Monarto Zoo.

Our vision for the 0-5 year time period of the plan is to commence development of the new Gatehouse, Visitor Centre and overnight safari-style accommodation projects for Monarto Zoo in addition to the Into Africa precinct at Adelaide Zoo.

Funding for the plan will be realised through our annual operating budget, which we hope will be bolstered by the corporate sector, government and public fundraising. As a charity focused on wildlife conservation, we rely on support from external funding.

We will also investigate the opportunity to enter into third-party partnerships to enable certain projects within the vision plan to be realised, for example, to engage a business partner to develop and manage the Monarto Zoo safari-style accommodation project.

We were delighted by the positive response that our Master Plan received from our members, volunteers, supporters and the public.  Thank you to everyone who responded online or attended our open days at both sites.

Some highlights for us:

  • People appreciated the forward planning and vision it provides and are excited by what this could mean for both sites.
  • Enhancing visitor experiences, animal exhibits and providing the ability for people to get closer interaction with animals are all seen as positive.
  • Comments were made regarding specific animals and exhibits, in particular: positive comments were made about lions, gorillas and Sri Lankan leopards at Adelaide, as well as the new Predator Experience and accommodation options at Monarto.
  • Members saw that they could help support the plan through fundraising, encouraging friends and families to become members and generally promoting the plan.

Areas where we were asked for clarification involved funding for the Master Plan in relation to past debt; and holding certain species like elephants at Monarto and Sea Lions in Adelaide.  We have responded to everyone we received feedback from, especially those that asked specific questions.

Importantly for us, most respondents indicated that the implementation of the Master Plan is likely to inspire them to visit our sites more, or to continue their volunteering work with Zoos SA so they can see the plans come to fruition.

We will keep our volunteers, members and supporters informed regarding the implementation of the plan through our Zoo Times, e-newsletters and where possible, tours or previews of new developments.

Thanks again for all of your support and for helping to shape the future of Zoos SA.

Adelaide and Monarto Zoos have touched the lives of many within the community. In particular Adelaide Zoo has had six generations of zoo visitors pass through its gates over the course of its 132 year history.

Over the course of the society’s 137 year history, our zoos have gone through considerable change and are an evolving product of their time. Zoos historically contained many bars and small cages, however modern zoos of the 21st century are known for creating animal habitats that are open and reflect the natural habitat and requirements of the particular species. Zoos also have a strong emphasis on the protection of species undertaken through conservation work both at a national and international level.

Zoos SA History

Join Adelaide Zoo LIVE on Facebook at 11am today. Our animal-nerd Nic will be answering your questions live here: https://t.co/jQGeZrS5o2

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction and connect people with nature.

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