The Australian Reptile Park was recently in news for welcoming a new koala into their extended family. The Story Mug got in touch with them for an exclusive interview.
Here is the interview in details
TSM: Tell us as to how the Australian Reptile Park came into existence and what was the idea behind it?
ARP: The Australian Reptile Park was established in 1948 by the late Erica Worrell. It is now regarded as one of the country’s premier attractions.
The Australian Reptile Park is the only zoo in Australia committed to saving lives with a venom milking program in place for the past 50+ years, saving over 300 lives each year being the sole supplier of a variety of venoms, which is used for all snake and funnel-web anti-venom in Australia.
The Australian Reptile Park is a world-renowned zoo and boasts loads of animal interaction and exciting wildlife shows.
TSM: Tell us something about the kind of work the park does.
ARP: The Australian Reptile Park is involved in many animal conservation programs, including a koala breeding program and a Tasmanian devil breeding program through its sister organisation, Aussie Ark.
In addition to educating the community about wildlife conservation, the Australian Reptile Park also runs a venomous snake and funnel-web spider venom milking program.
The venom is then used to create life-saving antivenom.
TSM: Who are the people/volunteers associated with the park?
ARP: We have a fantastic group of dedicated zookeepers and aspiring zookeepers who look after our animals with great care.
TSM: What has been the role of the government in supporting the ARP's mission?
We have been grateful for the support from the Government during the coronavirus pandemic. We had to close for two months due to government restrictions but we have opened our doors again on June 1, 2020.
TSM: Share with us your experience of combating with the bushfires.
ARP: We were fortunate to not have the bushfires reach our Park but it did come very close. We were prepared to protect the Park and our animals if the fires came closure but we were very lucky!
TSM: Was the 2019-20 bushfire the deadliest of all in recent times?
ARP: The recent bushfires had a devasting effect on our native wildlife and environment.
TSM: What significance does the birth of Ash-the Koala- holds for the park?
ARP: Ash was the first koala born at the Australian Reptile Park since the devastating bushfires that ravaged the wild koala population.
Ash is a symbol of hope for rebuilding the koala population in Australia.
TSM: Can we expect the birth of some more animals in the future?
ARP: Yes! We have many breeding populations here at the park, including koalas, cassowaries, Tasmanian devils, quokkas, wallabies and kangaroos.
TSM: What would be your message to the world on the aspects of biodiversity and environment conservation?
ARP: To help secure a future for native wildlife, you can support conservation organisations like Aussie Ark – learn more at www.aussieark.org.au
Watch the exclusive interview with zookeeper Daniel Ramsey
The Story Mug, a Guwahati-based blogzine, believes in telling stories that matter.