In Reference to: Today, Orange Monkeys - Tomorrow?
No, we do not have any elephants here. The rescued elephants in Australia are housed at Taronga Western plains Zoo, which is a very large open range zoo, where the animals are in large paddock enclosures.
We do have 3 European brown bears here, which were from a private collection. They were housed in tiny cramped cages for many years. They now have a large enclosure, which includes water to swim in, rocks, hollow logs and pine trees. Everyday, keepers hide their food in and around the enclosure, so the bears spend all day foraging, rolling over the logs etc, and looking for their food.
We also have ex-circus lions, which are living out their retirement years in large, open enclosures, again with trees and water.
Because we are a young zoo, only 10 years old, we have been able to build our enclosures from scratch, instead of having to slowly convert older style cages as many more established zoos have had to do.
They have been designed with the particular animals in mind, and are large and well vegetated. This sometimes poses a problem in regards to viewing by the public, but we consider the animals comfort to be more important. Most enclosures are separated from the public by moats, so you do not view animals through bars or mesh.
I think all Australian zoos have all taken this approach, and you will find it common here.
Fundraising is also coordinated between zoos, and the best links to the current projects are on the Melbourne Zoo website.
We don’t have any photos on our website, but you can see some of the enclosures with the animals in the TV ads.
National Zoo & Aquarium