Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant today announced the opening of Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo’s new Lion Pride Lands precinct. The $9 million joint investment between the NSW Government and Taronga Conservation Society Australia is the largest investment in an animal exhibit in the Zoo’s history.
Ms Upton said the 3.8 hectare immersive safari adventure experience highlighted the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to conservation. “There are less than 20,000 Lions remaining in the wild, and to have eight here in NSW is truly special,” Ms Upton said. “The new Lion Pride Lands is the first major change to the Zoo’s exhibits since it opened and is a significant step in helping to protect one of the world’s vulnerable species.”
Mr Grant welcomed the investment into the exciting and interesting tourist attraction in the Dubbo region. “Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo is the most visited zoo in regional NSW and the new Lion exhibit will draw more people to the region,” Mr Grant said. “The Lion Pride Lands really does set the bar for a world-class zoo experience and it will inspire people to connect with Lions and their plight in the wild.”
Taronga Conservation Society Australia Chief Executive and Director Cameron Kerr said the immersive experience meant Zoo guests would leave with a better understanding of these apex predators. “It is a tragedy to see Lions experience a severe population decline worldwide. Through this precinct guests will be able to understand how Taronga is working with partners all over the world to make a difference for wildlife conservation,” Mr Kerr said.
Lion Pride Lands will be open every day from Easter onwards.