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Posted by on in Media Release

Monarto Zoo is abuzz with excitement today as it prepares for a very special birthday party in honour of its young Chimpanzee's second birthday.

Zoo staff have gone to great lengths in preparing for cheeky chimp Zuri's special day creating a number of gifts and tasty treats which are expected to generate a great deal of excitement among the chimp troop.



Tagged in: Chimpanzee Monarto Zoo
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Posted by on in Media Release

If you go down to Adelaide Zoo this Saturday, you're sure of a big surprise. For every bear that ever was, will gather at Adelaide Zoo for certain because, Saturday is the day the teddy bears have their picnic!

Grab your favourite teddy bear and your picnic blanket and head down to Adelaide Zoo for the inaugural Westpac Teddy Bear's Picnic to join in on the fun.

Mrs Scarse, long-time zoo supporter, teddy bear enthusiast and wife to Zoos SA Patron his Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarse, will be officially opening the picnic at 10am with the cutting of a teddy bear cake in the rotunda.

The fun-filled family event will feature a host of free activities including performances from Splash Theatre Company and the City of Adelaide Band, competitions, a jumping castle and face painting.

Children can even take their teddy bear friends for a quick check-up at the zoo vets to ensure they are in the bear-y best of health!

Australia's only Giant Pandas, Wang Wang and Funi, will be celebrating their birthdays on the day with specially prepared panda treats and of course panda cake!

This is an all-weather event, so mark it in your diary today.

For more information please visit: http://www.zoossa.com.au/adelaide-zoo/special-experiences-1/events

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Posted by on in Media Release

As a proud South Australian Organisation, Zoos South Australia (Zoos SA) has been a long-time supporter of local business. Over the course of our 135 years history we have built commercial partnerships that align with our values and enable us to continue our important conservation work.

We are pleased to share that we are working with both Streets Ice Cream and Golden North, with a view to extending the ice cream supply arrangement currently in place that enables both brands to be sold in the zoo.

The partnership with Golden North yielded great environmental results after a review of their supply chain enabled them to produce palm oil free ice cream. Zoos SA knows that by working with its partners it can achieve great outcomes and now wants to take this success from a local to a global level.

Zoos SA Chief Executive, Elaine Bensted understands the passion South Australians have for the zoo and also for other local institutions.

"We know that South Australian's are not only passionate supporters of local business but also deeply concerned with the preservation of habit and wildlife," Ms Bensted said.

"Zoo's SA is member-based society and we respect the opinions of our members and supporters, and acknowledge the feedback and genuine concern that has been raised.

"We have listened to this feedback, consulted with our partners and other stakeholders and are pleased to be working towards an agreement that will be supportive of each organisation and one that will please our members and the South Australian community."

The decision to re-evaluate Zoos SA's conservation position on palm oil is based on several years of research and new evidence within the industry that suggests palm oil production is only on the increase and avoiding it completely is damaging in its own right as it ignores some of the major threats driving the destruction of the rainforest.

"Sustainably produced palm oil will make sure the demand for it is deforestation free. This ensures rainforests are not being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations, wildlife is protected and it does not impact on the lives of those that depend on its production in order to avoid poverty," Ms Bensted said.

Advocating for the use of sustainable palm oil is the approach that is also being taken by many globally recognised conservation organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other major Australian zoos.

Zoos SA is committed to working with organisations that are making real progress to support sustainable practices and the preservation of the environment and wildlife. Zoos SA sees the new partnership with Streets Ice Cream as a way to help influence positive environmental change in our own backyard and across the globe.

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Posted by on in Media Release

As a not-for-profit conservation charity we rely heavily on the generosity of the public and corporate support and value these relationships greatly. Without this support we would not be able to achieve our mission of saving species from extinction and connecting people with nature, enabling us to contribute to many critical conservation projects at a local and international level.

Zoos SA is committed to working with organisations that are making real progress to support sustainable practices and the preservation of the environment and wildlife. This was demonstrated through our partnership with Golden North, who at the time of entering into a partnership with us, were using unsustainable non-certified palm oil. Through our work with Golden North, and their review of their supply chain, Golden North were able to publically state that they were 100% palm oil free in August of 2012, two years into the partnership with us. This was a great achievement and it has allowed Golden North to market this new status to their current and potential new customers.

We see our recent partnership with Unilever as a new opportunity to help drive positive change, this time with one of the world's largest food companies. Through engaging with them we are able to dramatically increase the scale of our conservation efforts and impact.

As a multi-national corporation operating in more than 100 countries, Unilever is committed to sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, including palm oil. As one of the world's largest consumers of palm oil, Unilever has made a global commitment that by the end of 2014 all palm oil will be traceable to known sources and by 2020 all of the palm oil they buy globally will come from certified sustainable sources as per the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil criteria. The World Wildlife Fund for Nature is monitoring their progress and their most recent palm oil scorecard report gave Unilever a top score in relation to commitment and action on sustainable palm oil.

Encouraging a complete shift away from palm oil may push manufacturers to source alternative oils like soy or rapeseed which can require six to 10 times more land than is needed for palm oil. The production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil aims to foster sustainable livelihoods for the millions of people who rely on this industry and alleviate the conflicts commonly associated with the development of new plantations.

The new agreement between Zoos SA and Unilever includes a number of targets and reporting mechanisms, including an exit clause that will ensure we are able to monitor progress against the commitments made. Should we at any time feel that they have not met these targets, or have moved away from their commitment to buy certified sustainable palm oil from traceable sources, we will be able to terminate the agreement.

Unilever are also corporate supporters of Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo and Perth Zoo with Streets products sold across these zoos. Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo and Zoos SA are key drivers of the Don't Palm Us Off campaign, which advocates for the use of sustainable palm oil. As a collective group Australian zoos have immense buying power and are well placed to support positive social advocacy in regards to the use of sustainable palm oil.

We recognise that this is a sensitive topic and we thank the public for their genuine concern. We will keep our members and supporters update of any new developments going forwards.

For more information on WWF – Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2013: http://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/po_scorecard_2013_1.pdf

For more information on Unilever and palm oil, please visit:


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World Ranger Day commemorates wildlife rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the work rangers do to protect some of the world's most endangered animals.

Zoos South Australia (Zoos SA) in partnership with the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) in northern Kenya supports a community-lead ranger program that patrols the Sera Conservancy, one of 26 conservancies managed by the NRT, to prevent poaching and livestock theft.

Spanning 330,000 hectares of wilderness, the Sera Conservancy is home to many threatened species, including the Grey's Zebra, Cheetah, African Elephant, Beisa Oryx and the African Wild Dog.

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Posted by on in Media Release

Monarto Zoo is mourning the loss of its male Cheetah, Tsotsie, who was humanely put to sleep on Wednesday afternoon after his quality of life had rapidly deteriorated due to acute renal failure.

Tsotsie, one of Monarto Zoo's hand-reared ambassador Cheetah, was a favourite amongst visitors and staff alike, connecting the community to the plight of Africa's most endangered big cat through the zoo's popular Cheetah Interactive Animal Experience.

Tsotsie was a very special member of the Monarto family and his presence will be deeply missed.

Photo by Dr Jerome Kalvas

Tagged in: cheetah Monarto Zoo
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Monarto Zoo is celebrating record-breaking attendance figures for the 2013/14 financial year as the open-range zoo cracks more than 120,000 visitors marking the zoo's best visitation year in its history.

The excellent visitor numbers come off the back of a massive year for Monarto Zoo as it celebrated the big 3-0 in October, experienced some exciting animal births and recorded significant conservation achievements, including the wild release of three Monarto bred Tasmanian Devils.

It has not only been a bumper year for Monarto Zoo, with visitor numbers across both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo exceeding half a million. Similar figures have only ever been experienced shortly after the arrival of Adelaide Zoo's Giant Pandas.

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Recently three goats took up residence at Monarto while they're not required for siring at Adelaide Zoo. Gordon, Toby and Jasper are very friendly and eager to get onto keeper utes and be involved in daily husbandry duties, often more than keepers would like!


On a weekly basis the goats are moved around Monarto as enrichment for both the goats and the neighbouring animals. Last week it was time to visit the lions (don't worry, the pride was safely secured in their night quarters prior to the visit!).



The goats thoroughly enjoyed exploring the lion habitat while the pride eagerly looked on. The goats were very relaxed and inquisitive, loving the grass, trees and space, while the lions were VERY interested!

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To kick start the winter school holidays Adelaide Zoo is launching a dedicated amphibian house to showcase three spectacular species of Poison Dart Frogs.

The Froggery, located at the historic Frome Road entrance will be a vibrant display of frogs including the Dyeing, Blue and Splashback Poison Dart Frogs. It will provide informative signage on each species and their stages of life.

Adelaide Zoo Reptile Keeper, Carly Humphrys says it’s wonderful to finally have a space devoted to educating the public about these interesting amphibians.


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Adelaide Zoo is pleased to announce critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan, Karta is expecting a baby in late November.

The pregnancy follows the loss of a stillborn infant in January 2013 and the recent discovery that Karta may have difficulty breastfeeding her infants, which is thought to relate to her inability to successfully raise infants in the past.


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Posted by on in Zoos SA

As a volunteer and life member, Pam Page is a true testament to not only the impact Zoos SA can have on one's life, but the impact one individual can have on Zoos SA.

Pam's journey with Zoos SA began in 1974 when she moved to Adelaide from interstate and visited the zoo for the first time. As an animal lover, having grown up on a farm, Pam fell in love with Adelaide's quaint zoo and joined as a member.


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A few weeks ago, the Adelaide Zoo Horticulture Team set out on a task of gigantic proportions – relocating a six tonne tree from one side of the zoo to the other.

The 25 year old tree (the largest of this species in the zoo) was relocated as it was causing damage to the footpath and infrastructure in its original location. As a result it was moved to the zoo's front entrance forecourt on the opposing side of the retaining perimeter wall.


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Adelaide Zoo is celebrating the breeding success of Australia's most endangered reptile species – the Western Swamp Tortoise. Four tortoises hatched this year, making it the zoo's most successful breeding season to date.

One little tortoise was keen to see the world a little sooner than its brothers and sisters, hatching on 28 March, while the three remaining eggs hatched over a three-day period from 13-15 May.


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Posted by on in Media Release

Monarto Zoo is gearing up to host its ever popular Westpac Animal Play Day. The daylong event held on Sunday 8 June will showcase a range of fun enrichment activities aimed at stimulating animals’ wild, playful instincts.

Animals in nature have to work for a living – to find food, make nests, find shelter and even to play! Life for animals in a zoo environment is slightly more predictable than in the wild, which is why zoo keepers use enrichment to create variety in work and play, ensuring an environment that allows physical and mental choices and challenges.

Monarto Zoo Senior Primate Keeper, Laura Hanley, says providing animals with fun activities is integral to their wellbeing.

“We are constantly thinking of new ways to enrich our animals’ habitats,” Laura said. 



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Posted by on in Monarto Zoo

On behalf of the primate team I would like to reach out and express our sincere thanks to everyone that has offered their support and well wishes during this difficult time. Zwala was a beautiful girl who will be sorely missed by the chimps and all the people who came to know her.

Zwala first arrived as an 11 year old chimp from the Netherlands in 2010. She travelled to South Australia with her best friend Galatea, her cousin and surrogate mum Zombi and our fourth female Soona.

When I first saw Zwala I was surprised to see that she still had her white tuft. This tuft is a clear sign to the other troop members that you are a juvenile – it is pretty much a ticket to get away with anything and Zwala certainly made the most of hers! Zwala was full of playful energy at this time and became an instant hit with the four males in our troop. She loved to play chasey – twirling and flipping as she went.



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Posted by on in Monarto Zoo

It is with much sadness that we announce the loss of Zwala, our fifteen year old female chimp, who passed away early this morning.

Zwala was anaesthetised on Thursday morning to remove her contraceptive implant as recommended for the regional breeding program. She did not wake up from the anaesthetic and remained in a coma-like state. Zoo keepers and vets monitored her around the clock but sadly she did not recover.

Her passing was peaceful, both our chimp troop and staff were given time to say goodbye. The cause of her death remains unclear at this stage; a post mortem examination will be performed which we hope will provide some answers. When more is known as to the cause of death we will communicate this with staff.

Photo by Dave Mattner

Zwala was the youngest of four female chimps that arrived from the Netherlands in 2010. She was a active member of the chimp troop, had a very close bond with Zombi and Galetea and was able to hold her own against the often rambunctious boys. She will be sorely missed by all that knew and loved her.

Rest in Peace Zwala.

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Adelaide Zoo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered White-cheeked Gibbon, born on Sunday 13 April to proud parents Viet and Remus.

The birth is a significant achievement for Adelaide Zoo as the youngster is one of only three White-cheeked Gibbon infants to be born at the zoo in its 130 year history.


Photos by Helen Whitford

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These school holidays, Zoos SA is calling all intrepid travellers to take part in an around the world zoo experience.

Children will be given special zoo passports and are invited to travel the world through its animal inhabitants, visiting a series of 'border control' checkpoints set up throughout the zoos.

At each checkpoint, the zoo's little explorers will collect stamps for their passports and learn more about where our animals come from and how the zoo is helping preserve their wild cousins.

Through their journey they'll also enjoy additional keeper presentations, arts and craft activities as well as the chance to win some wild prizes.


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Over the last few months the Monarto Zoo Primate Team have been working on obtaining mouth swabs from our four male chimpanzees and mother and daughter duo, Zombi and Zuri.

These swabs will be sent off for DNA testing to determine the father of Zuri. This is now part of the Chimpanzee troop daily training program. The chimps are conditioned to open their mouths on cue. From this cue we have been introducing an extended cotton tip on the inside of the chimps cheeks to get a mouth swab. All four male chimps are quite comfortable with opening their mouths and we were able to successfully swab them for this DNA test last week.


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Posted by on in Zoos SA

Here at Zoos SA we make a concerted effort to reduce our environmental impact and it's paying off!

The second quarter of this financial year has seen Adelaide Zoo's electricity consumption reduce by 85,000 kWh over the same period last year. This is the equivalent of 52 tonnes of carbon dioxide!

To put this reduction into perspective, 85,000 kWh is enough energy to power the following:
• 14 average three person households for a year.
• The Westpac Envirodome for a year.
• The Animal Health Centre for a year.

So what is this vast reduction a result of? Looking at historic yearly temperature plots, it does not appear to be a result of weather changes.

We believe that the bulk savings stem from our very own employee awareness! Our employees' awareness and drive to reduce theirs and Zoos SA's footprint is believed to be the leading factor in the reduction.

Our half yearly waste stats also show major reductions.


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