The acting director of Taronga Western Plains Zoo (TWPZ) says he is confident the unique features of Dubbo’s number one tourist destination will withstand a planned zoo in Western Sydney.
Earlier this week the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission approved the new zoo, located near Blacktown.
Several media outlets reported that the new facility, slated to cost $36 million, won't cage its animals and will feature more than 30 exhibits.
It is expected to contribute about $45 million a year to the New South Wales economy.
But Nick Boyle, who is currently in charge of TWPZ, says the Dubbo icon will handle the challenge.
“Taronga Western Plains Zoo is an iconic zoo and a truly unique zoo within Australia,” he said.
“There are so many things about the zoo that are highly appealing to our guests – the animals of course and the way they can be viewed in our open range setting, our breeding and conservation programs, the unique ways that the zoo can be explored and the outstanding guest experiences on offer, including multiple award winning overnight experiences.
“The zoo is a destination – away from major metropolitan centres and offering compelling day and night experiences. For many of our guests the zoo is part of a larger “short break” to our region and is different to many other zoos in this respect.
“We are constantly striving to improve the experience and are currently part way through a redevelopment that will see amazing new experiences added to the zoo offering in the coming years, the first major project being Lion Pride Lands which is currently under construction and when complete will be unrivalled within Australia.
“We are confident that the zoo will continue to remain a highly appealing destination for all of our target markets including Sydney, for these reasons.
“We’re supportive of any zoo as long as it has animal welfare and conservation as its foremost priorities, as we do.”