• Perth Zoo plans for future without elephants

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has today invited the community to help shape the future of Perth Zoo, as the iconic destination celebrates its 120th birthday.

Planning has already commenced to transform Perth’s world-renowned zoo to ensure it can provide new wildlife experiences for the Western Australian public and visitors into the future.

A consideration of this futureproofing is to plan for the death of elderly and much-loved Asian Elephant, Tricia - currently one of the oldest Asian zoo elephants in the world.

Following Tricia’s death, the two younger elephants will be rehomed to other Australasian zoos where they will benefit from a herd setting. This provides the opportunity to re-think and reinvigorate the offerings on the urban zoo site.

Initial ideas for Perth Zoo’s future are based on innovative concepts already used at international zoos, featuring expanded habitats for animals via overhead animal exploration trails.

Concepts also include enabling the public to see procedures underway in the veterinary hospital and providing opportunities to see inside animal breeding areas where Perth Zoo is helping fight species extinction.

Future Perth Zoo ideas are currently being canvassed, leading to the development of a comprehensive master plan. More details can be found at perthzoo.com.au/futurezoo

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Tricia is an elderly elephant, and while it’s difficult to imagine a time without her at the zoo, the reality is the zoo has changed significantly over the past 120 years, and it’s time to transform again.

“Planning for the future of the zoo has begun, but today is about asking the community, the people of Western Australia, to help shape the future direction of Perth Zoo.

“Moving on from elephants is in the best interests of the two remaining elephants, male Putra Mas and female, Permai.

“Perth Zoo has a small footprint within metropolitan South Perth. We are committed to providing the best for the animals in our care, however, on this site we cannot develop an elephant exhibit big enough to accommodate a functioning herd comprising multiple animals.

“At the moment, the elephants at Perth Zoo are happy and healthy, but when Tricia dies the elephants will be best placed to become part of a bigger herd, something we cannot facilitate at a small metropolitan zoo.

“I look forward to taking this journey with all of you. Perth Zoo belongs to all Western Australians and planning for the future presents an exciting opportunity to get involved.”