Wallabies, kangaroos, emus, and native birds to inhabit Australian Walkabout show
November 21, 2020
| 6:39 p.m.
The Santa Barbara Zoo has begun building on its latest exhibit, the Australian Walkabout, a 15,000 square-foot habitat designed to move visitors Down Underneath, the place they will stroll among the many wallabies, kangaroos, emus, and native birds.
New Aussie exhibit is anticipated to open subsequent summer time on the Santa Barbara Zoo. (Courtesy photograph)
The Australian Walkabout exhibit is anticipated to open in the summertime.
Australia, one of the crucial stunning and biodiverse international locations on the planet, is dwelling to just about 150,000 species of crops and animals, a lot of that are distinctive to the continent.
Sadly, attributable to local weather change, drought, fires, habitat loss, and non-native predators, Australia has one of many world’s most fast charges of mammal extinctions.
“The latest megafires in Australia devastated huge swaths of distinctive habitat, and displaced or value the lives of an estimated nearly three billion animals, which embody native mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs,” mentioned Dr. Julie Barnes, native Australian and vice chairman of Animal Care & Well being of the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“Whereas the complete extent of the long-term influence on the nation’s biodiversity on account of these devastating bush fires is unknown, there isn’t any doubt that many native species are at elevated danger of extinction or changing into threatened attributable to habitat loss,” she mentioned.
“This new exhibit will do greater than join individuals with distinctive wildlife, it additionally represents an ongoing connection between our group and devoted conservation efforts in Australia,” she mentioned.
“A part of the zoo’s mission is to name consideration to the wonders of wildlife and the significance of its conservation,” mentioned Wealthy Block, Santa Barbara Zoo president/CEO. “The brand new Australian Walkabout is an journey aimed to function a reminder to us all to deal with the planet’s residing treasures, internationally and in our personal backyards.”
The Australian Walkabout will likely be positioned within the former elephant exhibit area, the place the zoo’s Asian elephants, Sujatha and Little Mac, spent 45 years collectively till their passing in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The brand new exhibit is particularly designed to place visitors in the midst of the motion, exploring open pathways, stunning landscapes, and seeing a few of the most iconic and distinctive wildlife representatives from Australia, together with emus, kangaroos and wallabies, in addition to birds native to Australia.
Standing at round six ft tall, emus are the tallest native chicken in Australia and the second tallest residing chicken on the earth (after Africa’s ostrich). These flightless avian speedsters can dash as much as 31 miles per hour, touring nice distances on their lengthy legs to forage for quite a lot of crops and bugs.
Bennett’s wallaby is a medium-sized marsupial discovered alongside the jap coast of Australia and on the island of Tasmania. Adults can weigh 30-40 kilos and stand about three ft tall, with males being barely bigger than females. Their native habitat ranges from eucalyptus forests to open areas adjoining to forests.
Western gray kangaroos are within the household of marsupials referred to as Macropodidae (“large foot”), a household of fifty species that features kangaroos and wallabies, amongst others. Grownup Western gray males weigh about 120 kilos, and the females weigh about 60 kilos, making them one of many largest macropods.
Two aviaries are additionally deliberate to adjoin the exhibit, the place visitors could have the prospect to satisfy three species of native Australian birds, together with the sulphur-crested cockatoo, tawny frogmouth, and laughing kookaburra.
Together with creating a better visitor expertise, the exhibit will present alternatives to study Australian wildlife and conservation.
The zoo can be working with a consultant from the Aboriginal nations to include Aboriginal tradition and language into the exhibit. This offers the group a possibility to be inclusive and respectful and to deepen the story of the exhibit, the nation, and the animals for visitors.
The zoo continues to fundraise almost $3 million for the Australian Walkabout and the general public is invited to contribute. All donors who give $1,000-plus will likely be acknowledged on a donor recognition wall on the zoo. As well as, naming alternatives can be found on the $10,000-plus giving degree.
For extra concerning the Santa Barbara Zoo, go to sbzoo.org.