Taronga Zoo in Sydney

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Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Officially opened on 7 October 1916, it is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. Taronga Zoo is managed by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales under the trading name Taronga Conservation Society along with Dubbo's Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Divided into eight zoogeographic regions, Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals on , making it one of the largest of its kind.


The first public zoo in New South Wales opened in 1884 at Billy Goat Swamp in Moore Park, on a site now occupied by Sydney Boys High School and Sydney Girls High School. Inspired by a 1908 visit to the Hamburg Zoo, the secretary of the zoo, Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, envisioned a new zoo based on the bar-less concept. After realising that the Moore Park site was too small, the NSW Government granted 43 acre of land north of Sydney Harbour. A further 9 acre were later granted in 1916.

Taronga is an Aboriginal word meaning beautiful view.

Rustic Bridge

The "Rustic Bridge" was opened in 1915 and was one of Taronga Zoo's earliest landscape features. It was the main way in which visitors could cross the natural gully that it spans. Early photographs show it as a romantic pathway secluded by plantings. The rustic effect was created by embedding stones in the wall and like the Aquarium, its design was reminiscent of Italian grottoes.

Later additions and changes

A critical review in 1967 led to a new emphasis on scientific conservation, education and preservation. New exhibits were built starting with the Platypus and Nocturnal Houses, waterfowl ponds and walkthrough Rainforest Aviary. A Veterinary Quarantine Centre was built as was an Education Centre (funded by the Department of Education). Previous attractions such as elephant rides, miniature trains, monkey circus and merry-go-round gave way to educational facilities such as Friendship Farm and Seal theatre.

In the mid-1980s, a gondola lift was installed that allows visitors to view the zoo and Sydney Harbour. It runs from the bottom of the park close to the ferry wharf, and transports passengers to the top end of the zoo.

2000 Masterplan

In 2000, TCSA commenced a 12-year $250 million master plan, the majority of which is being spent at Taronga Zoo. The first major master plan item was the Backyard to Bush precinct. Under the plan, the Zoo received five Asian elephants from the Thailand Zoological Park Organisation for breeding purposes, education, long-term research and involvement of conservation programs. The plan has met opposition from environmental activists in Thailand, who blockaded the trucks hauling the elephants to Bangkok International Airport for their flight on 5 June 2006. The elephants along with other Asian rain forest specimens are housed in the "Wild Asia" precinct which opened in 2006 and aims to immerse visitors in an Asian rain forest environment.

A marine section, Great Southern Oceans, opened in April 2008. Recently, the redevelopment and restoration of the historic entrance opened, further adding to the masterplan. The chimpanzee exhibit is also under construction, hoping to split it into two sections, making it easier for introducing new individuals.

Zoo Friends

Zoo Friends offers support in form of volunteers and fund raising for both Taronga and Western Plains Zoo. Members are offered behind-the-scenes experiences at the Zoo and unlimited Zoo entry. Members are also eligible to volunteer to help at the Zoo.

Notable events

Platypus Birth

In February 2003 it became the second zoo in Australia to breed the platypus.

Australia's first elephant birth

At 3.04am on 4 July 2009 Thong Dee, an Asian Elephant gave birth to a male calf named Luk Chai. He is the first calf ever born in Australia. Thong Dee, and his father Gung, were two of the eight elephants imported into Australia to participate in the Australasian Conservation Breeding Program. Taronga is expecting a further two calves to be born in the next two years. The baby elephant is a major tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors attending the zoo just to see him.

Second elephant birth

A baby Asian elephant was thought to have died during labour on 8 March 2010. The calf's 18-year-old mother Porntip was in and out of labour over the week beforehand, after a pregnancy lasting almost two years. Zoo keepers and veterinarians were concerned about the progress of the labour, with Porntip showing unusual movements and behaviour. An ultrasound at around 8am that morning revealed the calf was unconscious in the birth canal and believed to be dead. On 10 March 2010 at 3:27am the male calf was born. It was subsequently named Pathi Harn, a Thai expression meaning "miracle". Pathi Harn's father is Bong Su, of the Melbourne Zoo, and was artificially conceived.

Animals and exhibits

Taronga Zoo has about 340 species and over 2,600 individual animals. They are housed in a large variety of exhibits, including:

Wild Australia

Australian Wetlands
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Little Pied Cormorant
  • Brolga
  • Australian Pelican
  • Royal Spoonbill
  • Pacific Black Duck
  • Chestnut Teal
  • Blue-billed Duck
  • Australian Wood Duck
  • Australian Shelduck
  • Plumed Whistling Duck
  • Water Whistling Duck
  • Black Swan
  • Cape Barren Goose
  • Magpie Goose
Australian Walkabout
  • Red Kangaroo
  • Tammar Wallaby
  • Swamp Wallaby
  • Agile Wallaby
  • Red-necked Wallaby
  • Emu
Koala Encounters/Koala Walkabout
  • Koala
  • Short-beaked Echidna
  • Quokka
Platypus House
  • Platypus
  • Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat
  • Water Rat
  • Spinifex Hopping-mouse
Australian Nightlife
  • Tasmanian Devil
  • Red-tailed Phascogale
  • Bilby
  • Long-nosed Bandicoot
  • Long-nosed Potoroo
  • Brush-tailed Bettong
  • Common Ringtail Possum
  • Squirrel Glider
  • Yellow-bellied Glider
  • Feathertail Glider
  • Greater Stick-nest Rat
  • Black-footed Tree-rat
  • Plains Rat
  • Spinifex Hopping-mouse
  • Ghost Bat
  • Tawny Frogmouth
  • New Caledonian Giant Gecko
Australian Rainforest Aviary
  • Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Musk Lorikeet
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Australian King Parrot
  • Crimson Rosella
  • Double-eyed Fig-Parrot
  • Paradise Riflebird
  • Wonga Pigeon
  • Topknot Pigeon
  • Superb Fruit-Dove
  • Emerald Dove
  • Brown Cuckoo-Dove
  • White-headed Pigeon
  • Red-browed Finch
  • Blue-faced Parrot-Finch
  • Buff-banded Rail
  • Black-breasted Buttonquail
  • Regent Bowerbird
  • Eastern Whipbird
  • Noisy Pitta
  • Black-faced Monarch
  • Pacific Koel
Australian Bush Birds
  • King Quail
  • Painted Buttonquail
  • Green Pygmy-Goose
  • White-browed Crake
  • Banded Lapwing
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Forest Kingfisher
  • Rainbow Bee-eater
  • Pheasant Coucal
  • Glossy Black-Cockatoo
  • Musk Lorikeet
  • Little Lorikeet
  • Turquoise Parrot
  • Swift Parrot
  • Superb Fruit-Dove
  • Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
  • Wonga Pigeon
  • Topknot Pigeon
  • Emerald Dove
  • Bar-shouldered Dove
  • Peaceful Dove
  • Brush Bronzewing
  • Crested Pigeon
  • Noisy Pitta
  • Eastern Spinebill
  • Noisy Friarbird
  • Blue-faced Honeyeater
  • New Holland Honeyeater
  • Striped Honeyeater
  • Crimson Chat
  • Variegated Fairy-wren
  • Eastern Yellow Robin
  • Hooded Robin
  • Grey Shrike-thrush
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
  • Silvereye
  • Clamorous Reed-Warbler
  • Eastern Whipbird
  • Diamond Firetail
  • Red-browed Finch
  • Plum-headed Finch
  • Double-barred Finch
  • Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
  • Satin Bowerbird
  • Regent Bowerbird
  • White-browed Woodswallow
Creatures of the Wollemi
  • Platypus
  • Short-beaked Echidna
  • Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby
  • Australasian Grebe
  • Hardhead
  • Masked Lapwing
  • Bush Stone-curlew
  • Little Pied Cormorant
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  • Gang-gang Cockatoo
  • Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
  • Eastern Rosella
  • Superb Parrot
  • Red-rumped Parrot
  • Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
  • Wonga Pigeon
  • Brush Bronzewing
  • Dollarbird
  • Australasian Figbird
  • Noisy Pitta
  • Superb Lyrebird
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
  • White-browed Babbler
  • Satin Bowerbird
  • Regent Bowerbird
  • Striped Honeyeater
  • Regent Honeyeater
  • Diamond Firetail
  • Eastern Water Dragon
  • Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard
  • Cunningham's Skink
  • Eastern Water Skink
  • Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko
  • Eastern Long-necked Turtle
Helmore Parrot Aviary
  • Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  • Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  • Short-billed Black-Cockatoo
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
  • Gang-gang Cockatoo
Backyard to Bush
  • Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat
  • Red Kangaroo
  • Eastern Grey Kangaroo
  • Spinifex Hopping-mouse
  • House Mouse
  • Guinea Pig
  • European Rabbit
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Pig
  • Emu
  • Budgerigar
  • Cockatiel
  • King Quail
  • Chicken
  • Wild Turkey
  • Children's python
  • Diamond Python
  • Red-bellied Black Snake
  • Coastal Bearded Dragon
  • Lace Monitor
  • Shingleback
  • Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard
  • Eastern Snake-necked Turtle
  • Green Tree Frog
  • Dainty Green Tree Frog
  • Green and Golden Bell Frog
  • Splendid Rainbowfish
  • Pacific Blue-eye
  • Redback spider
  • Golden orb-web spider
  • Huntsman Spider
  • Bird-eating spider
  • Wolf Spider
  • White-tail spider
  • Net-casting spider
  • Black house spider
  • Daddy Long Legs
  • Desert Scorpion
  • Rainforest Scorpion
  • Praying Mantis
  • Black House Ant
  • Meat Ant
  • Grasshopper
  • Phasmids
  • Giant Burrowing Cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Centipede
  • Garden snail
  • Mealworm
Other Wild Australia
  • Red Kangaroo
  • Eastern Grey Kangaroo
  • Tammar Wallaby
  • Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby
  • Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo
  • Emu
  • Malleefowl
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Southern Cassowary
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Red Lory
  • Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Purple-crowned Lorikeet
  • Red-rumped Parrot
  • Victoria Crowned Pigeon
  • Diamond Dove
  • Common Bronzewing
  • Blue-faced Honeyeater
  • Regent Honeyeater
  • Striated Grasswren
  • Saltwater Crocodile

Great Southern Oceans

  • Leopard Seal
  • California Sea Lion
  • Australian Sea Lion
  • Australian Fur Seal
  • New Zealand Fur Seal
  • Australian Pelican
  • Fiordland Penguin
  • Little Penguin

Moore Park Aviary

  • Northern Palm Squirrel
  • Mandarin Duck
  • Lady Amherst's Pheasant
  • Swinhoe's Pheasant
  • Luzon Bleeding-heart


  • Freshwater Crocodile
  • Komodo Dragon
  • Mitchell's Water Monitor
  • Short-tailed Monitor
  • Eastern Water Dragon
  • Coastal Bearded Dragon
  • Chameleon Dragon
  • Central Netted Dragon
  • Tawny Crevice Dragon
  • Frilled Lizard
  • Basilisk
  • Sailfin Lizard
  • Green Iguana
  • Rhinoceros Iguana
  • Fiji Banded Iguana
  • Fiji Crested Iguana
  • Gila Monster
  • Anaconda
  • Jackson's Chameleon
  • Veiled Chameleon
  • Scheltopusik
  • Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard
  • Night Skink
  • Hosmer's Skink
  • Land Mullet
  • Cunningham's Skink
  • Giant Cave Gecko
  • Rough Knob-tailed Gecko
  • Tuatara
  • Reticulated Python
  • Amethystine Python
  • Green Python
  • Boa Constrictor
  • Taiwan Beauty Snake
  • Rhinoceros Viper
  • Eyelash Viper
  • Egyptian Cobra
  • Corn Snake
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Taipan
  • Red-bellied Black Snake
  • Black-headed Python
  • Stimson's Python
  • Collett's Snake
  • Fierce Snake
  • Desert Death Adder
  • Broad-headed Snake
  • Arafura File Snake
  • Star Tortoise
  • Elongate Tortoise
  • Matamata
  • Eastern Snake-necked Turtle
  • Northern Snake-necked Turtle
  • Broad-shelled River Turtle
  • River Cooter
  • Saw-shelled Turtle
  • Short-necked Turtle
  • Green Tree Frog
  • Red-eyed Tree Frog
  • White-lipped Tree Frog
  • Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog
  • Green and Golden Bell Frog
  • Cane Toad

South American Aviaries

  • Brazilian Agouti
  • Green-winged Macaw
  • Sun Conure
  • Nanday Conure
  • Brown-throated Conure

African Waterhole

  • Sun Bear
  • Pygmy Hippopotamus
  • Brazilian Tapir
  • Common Zebra
  • Giraffe
  • Bongo
  • Barbary Sheep
  • Ostrich
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Helmeted Guineafowl

Chimpanzee Park

  • Chimpanzee

Gorilla Forest

  • Western Lowland Gorilla
  • Ring-tailed Lemur

Wild Asia

  • Asian Elephant
  • Silvery Gibbon
  • Francois' Langur
  • Fishing Cat
  • Binturong
  • Oriental Small-clawed Otter
  • Chital
  • Malayan Tapir
  • Grey-headed Flying Fox
  • Green Peafowl
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Golden Pheasant
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Chukar Partridge
  • King Quail
  • Buff-banded Rail
  • Mandarin Duck
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Water Whistling Duck
  • Cattle Egret
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Royal Spoonbill
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • White-bibbed Ground Dove
  • Luzon Bleeding-heart Pigeon
  • Superb Fruit-Dove
  • Nicobar Pigeon
  • Pied Imperial Pigeon
  • Red Lory
  • Australasian Figbird
  • Red-whiskered Bulbul
  • Metallic Starling
  • Clamorous Reed-Warbler
  • Pekin Robin
  • Tri-coloured Mannikin
  • Java Sparrow
  • Koi
  • Rosy Barb
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  • Medaka

Himalayan Mountains

  • Red Panda
  • Snow Leopard
  • Himalayan Tahr

Cats of Asia

  • African Lion
  • Sumatran Tiger
  • Binturong

"Dog Row"

  • Dhole
  • Fennec Fox
  • Pygmy Hippopotamus
  • Meerkat

Bear Canyon

  • Kodiak Bear

Giant Tortoises

  • Aldabra Giant Tortoise
  • Andean Condor


The Taronga Zoo ferry services are, for many tourists, the preferred mode of travel to the zoo. Passengers disembarking at the ferry wharf, located on Bradleys Head Road, can enter the zoo via a gondola lift or connect with local State Transit bus services. Sydney Ferries offers combined "ZooLink" tickets covering ferry fares, park entry and gondola ride.

Taronga Zoo also works heavily with various other Sydney Harbour transport operators, such as Captain Cook Cruises and Yellow Water Taxis. Both of these operators have combined tickets/packages which include tickets covering transport fares, park entry and gondola ride.

See also

  • Western Plains Zoo
  • Taronga by Victor Kelleher, a work of fiction using Taronga Zoo as its setting


External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taronga_Zoo