Red Panda. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Red Panda. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily john mccutcheon

Sunshine Coast has a brand new zoo at Big Pineapple

LIKE Noah unloading his ark, a menagerie of native and exotic animals are settling into their home at a new zoo on the Sunshine Coast.

In a mammoth effort, staff from north Brisbane's Alma Park Zoo have packed up their exhibits and transported more than 200 animals to their new home at Nambour's The Big Pineapple.

Under new management and a new name, Queensland Zoo opens today, with the majority of its animals ready to meet new visitors.

In an exclusive tour, The Daily explored the 20-acre zoo yesterday, coming face to face with exotic Asian animals which moved into their new exhibits earlier this week.

A wild array of native, South American, Asian and African creatures will become part of Queensland Zoo, helping revive the Sunshine Coast tourist icon at Woombye.

Weaving through the farm animal section, which has been up and running for a few months now, the park also includes a full line up of Australian natives including red and grey kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, quolls, wombats and koalas.

The Asian exhibition is almost complete, with rare animals on display including red pandas and tahr (Himalayan mountain goat).

Still to come is the monkey exhibition including baboons, lemurs, capuchins, marmosets and pygmy marmosets, expected to arrive over the coming weeks.

The an empty enclosure filled with climbing trees and swinging ropes is ready for the sun bear to arrive on Monday, ready for public viewing by mid-next week.

Primate keeper Emma Morgan said the intricate operation to move the entire Alma Park Zoo has been exhaustive, but worth the work to see all the animals adapting to their new environment.

"The exhibits have lots of grass which they didn't have at the other zoo which is so much better for the animals," Ms Morgan said.

"A lot of animals didn't have grass before and the pandas are already having a little nibble."

Ms Morgan said the former staff will move across to Queensland Zoo to continue to strengthen their bonds and training with the animals.

Family Day Pass $55, adult day pass $20, child day pass $12.50, student day pass $15, concession day pass $15.

Zoo pass plus Big Pineapple Train ticket $70 for a family, $27.50 for an adult, $17.50 for children $22.50 for students and $22.50 for concession.

Visit www.qldzoo.com/zoo-ticket-prices/zoo-tickets-prices-sunshine-coast.


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