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Werribee Zoo investing $84m to become “world-class animal facility”

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werribee open range zoo

Werribee Open Range Zoo is set to receive a funding boost of $84 million, which will transform the zoo into a “world-class animal facility” with a new elephant sanctuary.

The State Government announced $84 million to go towards to project on Wednesday (November 3) as part of the Victorian State Budget 2020/21.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, which is set to become the leading open range zoo in Australia, is located in Melbourne and is part of Zoos Victoria.

“The opportunity with the elephants moving here is to do something remarkable,” said Zoos Victoria chief executive Dr Jenny Gray (via Australian Associated Press).

The investment will include a new elephant sanctuary, with six Asian elephants to be moved to Werribee Zoo’s 22 hectares from the two hectares at Melbourne Zoo.

Asian elephant herd moving from Melbourne Zoo

In addition, it includes a 1.6km treetop gondola boasting 360-degree views of the grounds, an expanded rhino retreat, treetop canopy walk, prairie landscape for bison and a new hyena clan.

“Today’s announcement will take this fantastic zoo to an ultimate new level,” said Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio (via 9News).

“The gondola Sky Safari will have a fantastic 360-degree view of the CBD and the Werribee river. It’s going to be a world-class facility.”

The four-year Werribee Zoo redevelopment project is set to start construction next week, and Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said the project would create around 350 jobs.

Redevelopment project to create around 350 jobs

“This is a facility that’s second to none, but it can be better,” said Andrews. “This year, we’ve all been reminded just how special a family visit to the zoo really is.”

“With this redevelopment, we’ll give more families more opportunity to enjoy that precious time together,” added Andrews.

Meanwhile, Contreras Earl Architecture unveiled designs for the world’s first dedicated conservation facility, Living Coral Biobank in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia.

Images: Zoos Victoria

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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