PERTH Zoo chief executive Susan Hunt says the launch of an open-range zoo does not mean the South Perth facility will close anytime soon.
Ms Hunt said the Lower Chittering-based open-range zoo would complement the work being done by her company.
“It’s not about closing our zoo, it’s about complementing the work we are doing with global species like rhinos and giraffes,” she said.
“It’s a great progression that will build on our expertise and I believe we will be central to the project.
“It was made pretty clear by the State Government that they would need our zoological expertise because they are not skills that are easy to come by.
“It would help us breed exotic species and help us address issues such as rhinos, who are hunted for their horns,” she said.
Ms Hunt said she believed the open-range zoo was feasible because there were zoos in other Australian capital cities.
“There is no doubt that it can be done because there are open-range zoos in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney,” she said.
“I think people are predominately positive about the idea once you explain it’s not about shutting Perth Zoo.
“It’s not a pie in the sky idea, it makes a lot of sense.”
Premier Colin Barnett said the conservation and recreation reserve was an ideal setting for an open-range zoo.
“This is a truly spectacular site next to the Avon Valley National Park that has all the features needed to make an open-range zoo attractive to international visitors,” he said.
“The landscape and vistas are striking, exceeding those of other open-range zoos in Australia, and even globally.
“The undulating land and scattered rock outcrops create excellent opportunities for the viewing of animals.
“This site could become a world-class attraction.”