We’re saying farewell to our Australian animals ahead of TxDot’s Southern Gateway I-35/US 67 project that will improve 11 miles of highway, including part of I-35 adjacent to the Dallas Zoo. The three Australian habitats, located within ZooNorth’s Koala Walkabout, are in the closest proximity to the construction project.
As you know, the comfort and welfare of our residents comes first, and we’ve found new AZA-accredited homes to ensure the interstate improvements cause no disruption to the animals.
The closure includes the koala habitat, Lorikeet Landing, and the kangaroo, wallaby, emu and kookaburra habitats. The last day you can visit these animals will be Monday, Sept. 4. And we hope you’ll join us this Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 2-3) as we host “Farewell Australia Weekend.”
Here on loan from San Diego Zoo since March 2012, koalas Tekin and Gummy will head back to their Southern California home. Our male and female Western gray kangaroos will also be moving to San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park.
Staying in Texas, our flock of lorikeets are moving to the San Antonio Zoo, and two wallabies will call the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin home. Our brother-sister kookaburra pair will move to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo.
“The safety and well-being of our animals is always our top priority,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and CEO. “We’ve been working with TxDot on the highway improvement plans for a while now, and appreciate TxDot addressing some of our concerns. As part of the construction, TxDot will install a high sound barrier that will reduce noise, dust in other parts of ZooNorth, and will benefit our guests and animals in the area.
“Thankfully we had plenty of time to find great homes for these animals. We know the public will miss them as much as we will.”
“Farewell Australia Weekend” activities from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 2-3 include:
– Special keeper chats at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. at Koala Walkabout
– Sign a card to wish koalas Tekin and Gummy farewell
– Participate in a “Can you jump as far as a macropod?” activity
– Enjoy a coloring activity featuring the Australian animals