Zoo's tastes sway menus

Rydges Oasis resort removed kangaroo and crocodile meals from its menu after it was suggested Australia Zoo opposed it.
Rydges Oasis resort removed kangaroo and crocodile meals from its menu after it was suggested Australia Zoo opposed it.

WOULD you like some roo ragout? Perhaps a bowl of crocodile stew?

On the Sunshine Coast making a meal out of native animal meat is becoming increasingly hard.

Why? Australia Zoo.

In recent weeks Caloundra's Rydges Oasis resort removed kangaroo and crocodile meals from its menu after it was suggested that Australia Zoo management opposed the consumption of native animal meat.

General manager of the resort Jo Acott said the decision was made with the zoo's attitude in mind, but said other factors had come into play.

“There was certainly no pressure from Australia Zoo to remove the items,” Ms Acott said.

“The issue was brought to our attention, however, that the zoo does not condone restaurants serving up the meat of native animals.

“It was also a business decision.

“The roo and croc dishes weren't selling well anyway, so they were scratched.”

Ms Acott said the resort menu was subject to seasonal change and it was not unusual for dishes to be altered accordingly.

An Australia Zoo spokeswoman said zoo management and staff staunchly opposed wildlife consumption and trade and urged people to refuse to purchase or eat any wildlife products, including crocodile, kangaroo and emu.

“Australia Zoo has numerous signs around our zoo promoting the non-consumptive use of native Australian wildlife,” she said.

“We actively educate our domestic and international visitors that by purchasing wildlife products they are indirectly supporting the illegal trade in wildlife, which is the major cause of animals being classified endangered or critically endangered.”

She said Australia Zoo representatives did not attend or support functions “when we are aware that wildlife will be served for consumption” and praised businesses and organisations fighting against the consumption and purchase of wildlife and wildlife products.

During his life, Steve Irwin was famous for highlighting his opposition to the farming of native animals.

“We in the so-called modern world must set the examples,” Steve said.

“This current example we've set - that eating, killing and wearing wildlife products is legal and sustainable - is obviously the greatest disaster for wildlife. If we don't eliminate sustainable use now it will be too late.”

In light of Australia Zoo's policy, Tourism Sunshine Coast has adopted a no-wildlife policy for serving up meals at functions.

Chief executive Russell Mason said the organisation fully concurred with the zoo's attitude to eating wildlife.

“We don't put any form of native animal meat on any of our menus out of respect for the zoo and we certainly do not promote the consumption of wildlife,” Mr Mason said.

“People come to the Coast to see the animals, not to eat them. They are one of our major attractions and if we encouraged eating them it would send out the wrong message.”

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