Blacktown Could Soon Be Home To Elephants, Giraffes and Lions

Cage-free zoo proposed for Western Sydney in late 2017

The NSW government has approved the lease of a 16.5 hectare area in Blacktown for a new cage-free zoo that would be home to crocodiles, rhinos, zebras, sharks and more.

Environment Minister Mark Speakman said, "Since Taronga Zoo was first established 100 years ago, Sydney's population has absolutely ballooned. We think now there is room another world-class zoo here in western Sydney.”

Sydney Zoo’s $36 million proposal will include elevated walkways and underwater glass viewing areas.

Image credit: Sydney Zoo

While smaller than Taronga, the new Sydney zoo will feature more than 30 exhibits including exotic animals, nocturnal animals and a native aquarium with bull sharks.

It is expected the zoo will bring in around $45 million a year to the state economy along with an extra $3 million in tourist spending.

A major focus will be conservation and education, plus breeding programs for endangered animals.

Jake Burgess, managing director of Sydney Zoo, said “Our high capacity facility will feature significant enclosure space, which is ideal for breeding programs. We will have extensive veterinary capabilities in-house as well as an animal rescue program, to give our native animals the best chance of survival.”

Image credit: Sydney Zoo

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