Freelance writer who enjoys staying active, social and making the most of what Perth has to offer.
Published May 31st 2011
Gone are the days when zoos were all about animals in cages, on display for the public to see. Since Perth Zoo opened over 110 years ago, it has redefined itself to become a major part of animal conservation and education on a global scale.
This modern-age zoo offers so much for animal lovers, no matter how old, with expansive facilities and an impressive menagerie of animals from all around the world. For those who haven't visited Perth Zoo for a number of years, they will discover a different world in the heart of South Perth with new residents, enclosures and a number of different events throughout the year.
One of the major sights at Perth Zoo is the African Savannah, where your path is along a dry river bed through the African grasslands inhabited by lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and more. Asian, South American and of course Australian sections of the zoo are also popular attractions. The beautiful sun bear, playful otters, sleek tigers and cheeky monkeys are just a few of the residents to visit throughout the day.
In addition to the meticulously kept enclosures, the landscaping staff do a commendable job in maintaining the gardens across the entire property including flora from around the world and native trees over 100 years old. It's enjoyable just to walk around the zoo surrounded by such a diverse range of plant-life.
As mentioned previously, animal education and conservation is a major part of Perth Zoo's mission. Many school education programs are run by the zoo with a full calendar of events and short courses featured on their website. Adults are also able to get involved with the zoo in different ways with a Close Encounters tour, going behind the scenes and seeing how things work from a keeper's perspective – just be prepared to get wet when visiting the elephants!
The zoo's Native Species Breeding Program encompasses a broad range of endangered species within Australia and works to breed and release these animals into protected areas in the wild. The Sumatran Orangutan breeding program at Perth Zoo is one of the world's most successful with 27 of the cute little orange mammals born so far.
So if it's been a while, I would definitely recommend picking a nice sunny day and checking out Perth Zoo, you will be surprised to see how much has changed and that the animals are just as adorable and entertaining as you remember when you were a kid.
Also keep an eye out for some great family events at Perth Zoo such as their sunset jazz concerts over summer. For more details visit www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au