Feeding time at the zoo

Monarto Safari Park is a must-visit attraction of the Adelaide Hills and home to more than 500 animals and 50 species of exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles.

As a conservation charity, feeding their growing herds, crashes and troops of giraffe, Black Rhinos, Przewalski's  horses, primates, zebras, elands and barbary sheep, is no easy feat.

Adelaide Hills Council has been working with Monarto Safari Park for several years, helping to meet some of their growing food needs by allowing Monarto's browse staff to tap into the many weed species being removed from Council reserves and roadsides.

Armed with a list of appropriate weed species to fill the tummies of various animals, Council's Open Space team negotiate with Monarto Safari Park staff for rapid pick up as soon as the weeds are available for collection. 

Tonia Brown, Council's Biodiversity Officer, said that the relationship first began in 2013 and has been flourishing ever since.

"We just love that we can make a positive impact for this critical conservation organisation through our everyday work," says Tonia.

"It's terrific that Council's many unwanted exotic weeds are being utilised for such an important purpose. The Black Rhino certainly looks like he's enjoying Council's weedy Acacias!"

Spanning more than 1,500 hectares, Monarto Safari Park is so large it can fit every major zoo in Australia within its grounds and still have room left over. And, once its redevelopment is complete, it will be the largest safari park outside of Africa.

If you have enough weed material to fill a trailer or a ute, you can contact Monarto Safari Park about contributing appropriate weeds to feed a range of herbivores.

Photo credits: Monarto Safari Park.

Front on view of a black rhino eating
Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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