Alma Park Zoo – Review

LocationCLOSED

Entry PriceAdults $37.00AUD Children (3-13) $27.00AUD Pensioner $29.00AUD

Opening Hours9.00am to 4.00pm. Closed Christmas Day and open from 1pm to 5pm on Anzac Day 25th April 
Alma Park Zoo web page



Layout 

Entrance is via Alma Road, with a ticketing station located at the end of a long treelined driveway. Cars can park in one of two parking zones located within the zoo after paying at ticketing station. There are two sections to the zoo, left of the car parks and right of car park. Right of the car park is where you will find koalas, Friendship Farm ( a children’s section of the zoo), a selection of primates, deer, wombats and camels. Left of the car park is the location of Lemur Island, the sun bear, red pandas and a selection of Australian mammals, birds and reptiles. This area is where you will also find the cafe – gift shop, presentation area and an ATM.

Picnic areas are provided throughout the park including barb-e-ques and picnic tables in a rain forest setting. Bathroom facilities are located in both sections of the park.

Extra Activities

Presentation and feeding times are scheduled daily and posted at each enclosure and the main presentation area – they are included in your entrance fee. Opportunities to get your photo taken with a koala, snake or crocodile are scheduled over the day and cost extra.

Breeding Programs

The main focus is on koalas, tamarins and the tasmanian devil. The zoos resident sun bear, Maly was the first sun bear to be born in captivity in Australia and was born at Perth Zoo as part of its sun bear breeding program.  
 

Malayan Sun Bear

Stu’s Favourite Bit

For me the best bit about this zoo is the Friendship Park Children’s section, it is small but well set out and has a good variety of domestic animals including calves, sheep, goats and baby chickens. Feed bags can be purchased on entry for one dollar each.

Go HERE to see a selection of animals found at Alma Park Zoo at Stu @ the zoo TV 
 
Some of the farm animals at Friendship Park
Stu’s review and tips  

I have to say right from the top that I was very disappointed in some of the enclosures at this zoo and was very close to not doing a review on this zoo at all.The reason I started this blog was to promote zoos that educate their visitors on the importance of conservation of both the animals and their environments. A good zoo can do this by building a connection between visitors and the animals. They will provide you an opportunity to look into inviting enclosures that mimic animal’s natural environs showing you not only the animals but giving you an insight into their habitat and how they live in the wild. At the very least when you leave a zoo you should have an understanding of some of the animal’s predicaments in the wild and at the very best you may even change your own habits just enough to help in the preservation of our environment. In short  a visit to the zoo should be a fun adventure that inspires and educates. Although Alma Park Zoo does have some good enclosures mainly for koalas and kangaroos I found a lot of the enclosures to be small and unnatural looking and some of the animals looked bored
 

 Himalayan Baboons in their cage

 
For a small zoo, Alma Park Zoo has a good collection of primates including marmosets, spider monkeys, baboons and tamarins. However they are all housed in mesh covered small cages that makes it next to impossible to see the animals properly and looks far from natural. To be honest that seemed to be the main feature of most of the non-Australian animal enclosures that I viewed–  small cages covered in wire, mesh and plastic making it very hard to see the animals. This style was most evident at the Macaws enclosure where it was hard to see what colour it was let alone any specific features. Other bird enclosures were just boring and the caged birds looked just as bored.   
 

Hairy – Nosed Wombat

Lemur Island is surrounded by a beautiful lake featuring ducks, water dragons and turtles. But the feature on the island is an old cubby house style enclosure that dominates the island and in my opinion takes away from any natural look that may have been achieved. The island looked far to small to house the amount of Lemur’s they had on display. The sun bear enclosure looked terrible and the sun bear on display looked totally bored and uninterested . Despite my opinion about the style of the enclosures and the animals welfare, the whole zoo was immaculately clean.

 

 
The grounds are set in lush tropical gardens with free range brush turkeys and peacocks roaming throughout. It is the perfect place to bring the family for a barb-e-que picnic but make sure you also bring the insect repellent as the mosquitoes can get a bit annoying. People with disabilities or not so quick on their feet may find it difficult to negotiate some of the paths that are a mixture of gravel or in some cases uneven paved bricks. 

Lemur Island

 
I waited for 15 minutes to see the sun bear being fed – once the keeper arrived, food was unceremoniously thrown over the fence – nearly hitting the poor bear. I would have thought this was an excellent opportunity to engage with the many people waiting for the advertised feeding time.  It would have been nice to have heard a little about the sun bear – what do they eat?  What is that thing you are throwing at it?  Where did this sun bear come from? Unfortunately she did not say anything to either the bear or the visitors – not even a hello. Hear is the Video of the sun bear feeding time at Alma Park Zoo   
  

Friendship Park was a great little children‘s section and the kangaroo walk through where people could interact with and feed the kangaroos was also a crowdpleaser. The reptile enclosure however totally missed the mark with a few fish tanks acting as enclosures placed in a wood hut, housing a small variety of reptiles. I have to say I have seen better displays at some Australian pet stores. 
 

Sulphur – Crested Cockatoo in its cage

There have been on again off again reports that this zoo will be moving for years now, with no firm announcements being made as yet.  I put a lot of what I have seen down to this possible move and subsequent delay to modernise some of the enclosures by adopting more modern animal housing practices. Alma Park Zoo has a lot of potential and that is the reason I chose to do this review, in the hope that their potential is realised, move or no move.
© May 2013-Stuatthezoo.blogspot.com.au

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