Zoos SA has announced $15.8m funding for a new state-of-the-art visitor centre at Monarto Zoo. The company has also confirmed a five-year extension for Giant Pandas at Adelaide Zoo.
The funding, from the Australian Government and South Australian Government, will see the construction of the visitor centre at Monarto Zoo.
The South Australian Government has also committed to extend the lease to keep Giant Pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni in Adelaide for another five years.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the Australian Government and South Australian Government’s announcement of $15.8 million towards the construction of a new state-of-the-art visitor centre at Monarto Zoo,” said Zoos SA chief executive Elaine Bensted.
“It’s also very exciting to know that Giant Pandas will call Adelaide Zoo home for another five years thanks to the support of the South Australian Government.
“Since they arrived in 2009, Wang Wang and Fu Ni have been consistently popular draw-cards to South Australia with many visitors travelling from all over the country and even the world to see Australasia’s only Giant Pandas.”
She continued: “We’re proud to be home to Australasia’s only Giant Pandas and to be able to continue our invaluable conservation work for another five years with them is fabulous.”
An iconic piece of architecture for South Australia
Bensted explained that Monarto Zoo has outgrown its current visitor centre facilities, which were built in 1997.
“As the largest pay to enter tourism attraction in regional South Australia and a pillar for the tourism industry in the Murraylands, the new visitor centre will allow us to cater to the growing expectations of domestic and international visitors,” she explained.
“Similar to the d’Arenberg Cube, this game-changing design will become an iconic piece of architecture for South Australia, and will help cement Monarto Zoo’s reputation as a must-visit nature and wildlife destination.”
The project plans include a large indoor and outdoor café, nature play spaces, retail, visitor services, offices and improved car parking and accessibility.
The new visitor centre is the first stage of the Monarto Zoo Wild Africa expansion project, which will provide accommodation for visitors for the first time – from a safari resort to eco-luxe glamping tents.
Conservation and animal welfare at Zoos SA
Zoos SA’s Peter Clark previously spoke to Blooloop about the 20-year masterplan for Adelaide and Monarto, Zoos SA’s conservation work, and its renewed focus on animal welfare.
Image: Monarto Zoo