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Featherdale Wildlife Park Invites Visitors For ’Save The Koala Month’

September 4, 2017 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to the largest captive colony of koalas in New South Wales, is gearing up to celebrate Save the Koala Month which kicks off today throughout Australia.

With a constant population of around 40 koalas, including six new joeys which have emerged from the pouch in the last month, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Park in September and learn about this iconic Australian animal.

There are many ways visitors to the Park can enjoy our koalas.  For a close encounter, Featherdale is offering the exciting opportunity to pat a koala and have a professional photo taken with packages starting as low as $20.00.   There is also a Breakfast with a Koala option which runs daily for $35.00 and includes a koala encounter and a talk from one of our knowledgeable keepers.

Starting today there is also a Spring Saver package which runs through 8 October and offers entry to the Park for two adults and two children (aged between 3 and 15); a personal koala experience and photo; food vouchers and drink vouchers and activity sheets and a souvenir carry bag all for $99.00

Featherdale is leading the way in conservation initiatives to ensure the future of this species which is listed as vulnerable in the ACT, NSW and Queensland due to factors including road fatalities, disease, introduced species and the destruction of habitats through land clearing, bushfires and eucalyptus “dieback.”

As part of their commitment, Featherdale has entered into number of strategic partnerships to assist with its koala conservation initiatives.

The Park has joined forces with the Australian Museum to conduct genetic testing of the Featherdale koala population. The genetic samples are used by the Museum to map their full genetic code and  allow Featherdale to pair the best breeding koalas together each year to ensure their long term survival.

In the 44-year history of the Park, Featherdale has successfully bred over 220 koalas.

The breeding program is also assisted by a state-of-the-art diagnostic ultrasound machine. Featherdale has partnered with General Electric (GE) since 2012 allowing the Park to provide the highest medical care possible to their animals with equipment normally reserved for treating people in the very best hospitals.  The machine helps to identify fertility and breeding availability as well as injuries and illness.  Early detection of any potential reproductive problems means that treatment can begin quickly which then leads to a more successful breeding season.

Featherdale is also partnering with the University of Western Sydney (UWS) to better understand the digestive system of the koala. While we are aware that Koalas eat eucalypt species found in the area in which they live, with continued research we are hopeful we may see the day where koalas can successfully transition to new species of eucalypt in their diet if they can be given the right mechanisms to aid in digestion.  This will help minimise their vulnerability.

Featherdale also has the first 5,000 trees ready to be planted in a new purpose-grown eucalypt plantation. This initiative is helping to reforest an area once cleared for farming and also providing very specific species for the diet of the Featherdale koalas. Visitors to Featherdale during ‘Save the Koala Month’ this September can donate to this important conservation cause.

Featherdale is located at 217 Kildare Road Doonside and is open 9am to 5pm daily.  Visit www.featherdale.com.au or call 02 9622 1644 for more information.

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