Australia’s National Zoo has opened in the remote, remote area of Northern Territory’s central city of Darwin, with more than 400 animals and 150 animals from around the world.
The zoo’s opening, which was welcomed by a crowd of thousands of people, comes as Australia prepares for the centennial of the country’s first free zoo, opening in 2021.
The opening was also attended by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who described the opening as an historic milestone in Australia’s relationship with the world, saying it “would be a dream come true for any zoo”.
“It’s an incredible moment to have the first free outdoor zoo in Australia,” Mr Abbott said.
The opening comes at a time of great concern about Australia’s endangered wildlife. “
This is a truly historic moment for Australia, and for the world.”
The opening comes at a time of great concern about Australia’s endangered wildlife.
A recent survey showed the number of threatened species has grown by more than 50 per cent since 1990.
A survey by the conservation organisation WildAid found that there were more than 2,200 species of birds, reptiles and mammals in the Northern Territory, and more than 4,500 mammals, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Mr Abbott told the crowd of about 50,000 people: “We have had more than four decades of unprecedented growth in Australia, so to see the growth and the changes we have made in the past few decades is quite remarkable.”
Mr Abbott also took time to thank the Australian Government for funding the zoo and the conservation of endangered animals.
“We’ve had great success in this country and the world,” he said.
Mr Newman said the opening was part of the zoo’s plan to become a world leader in animal welfare and conservation.
He said it was a “brave move” to open a zoo in such a remote place, which is just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city of Tampines.
“The zoo’s going to be a huge asset to Darwin and the region, as well as a really important part of our conservation plans,” Mr Newman told the crowds.
The national park also includes a large number of species that have been listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including crocodiles, koalas and snakes.
The first zoo to open in Darwin was opened in 1987, but it was closed after the death of its founder, Charles Darwin.
In 2006, the park opened to the public.