Building our 21st century zoo
We are keeping up the momentum as we enter year six of the Zoo Capital Programme (ZCP). The 10 year programme is central to our dream and is constantly changing the Zoo before our eyes.
During year five of the ZCP the following projects were completed:
The first phase of The Hub project, a precinct in the heart of Wellington Zoo, was completed in February 2011 providing a new food outlet (The Tuck Shop) in the middle of the Zoo together with a new rest area for visitors and a function/events centre — named Kamala’s after the last elephant to live at the Zoo. The Tuck Shop retains the original frontage of the old elephant house as a reminder of times past.
The remainder of the old elephant house was recycled and used on site as follows:
The concrete walls were crushed on site and used as fill material
The roofing iron was used to repair another roof in the Zoo
The spouting was re-used on the new Tuck Shop
The heat pump unit and electrical equipment were recovered for use in next year’s reptile house project.
We also added a second rainwater collection tank and excavated soil was transported to the proposed sun bear enclosure to be used there for the planned Asia Precinct project. However, not all the soil was relocated – some was recovered, mixed with cement and used to form the distinctive rammed earth walls which enclose two sides of the visitor rest area.
The first phase of our ‘Meet the Locals’ New Zealand precinct, The Roost Te Pae Manu, was completed in December 2010 and opened by Her Worship the Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown and The Honorable Nathan Guy Minister of Internal Affairs on 14 February 2011. The Roost Te Pae Manu currently houses the majority of our bird species, as we prepare to build new walk-through aviaries to house our bird collection. It is also our native bird breeding and care centre.
We have endeavoured to make this new addition as sustainable as possible. An additional rainwater collection tank is situated here and we used recycled concrete as fill, and the building features fully insulated rooms with double glazing. All timber used on our projects has to comply with Forest Stewardship Council certification for sustainability.
This new mini monkey enclosure contains emperor tamarins and pygmy marmosets as well as agouti and iguana. It was designed and built by Zoo staff to replace one of the older enclosures in the Zoo and, this, along with the forthcoming second phase of The Hub project, will complete the re-development work planned for this central area of the Zoo.
The Mini Monkey House was opened by Her Worship the Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown on 11 May 2011. Costs were kept to a minimum by recovering glass from the re-fit of a shop in Wellington and roofing material from our Property Manager’s neighbour’s garage. Props used to dress the houses were sourced from second hand stores, the recycle shop at the Wellington tip and Trade Aid.
This project was completed in July 2010 and allowed us to relocate our porcupines from their existing position on the site planned for The Roost Te Pae Manu. To enhance the visitor experience we put meerkats in to keep the porcupines company and, as both of these are African species, the enclosure was built within the boundaries of our African precinct. Again, our Property team was responsible for the design and construction of this new exhibit.
We have also created a concept design for our new Asia precinct incorporating the relocation of our sun bears, improved viewing of our Sumatran tigers and the theming of an area which also includes our red pandas. This project will be the focus for 2011-12.
Smaller works included substantially reconfiguring the service area at our lion enclosure making managing the animals much easier and safer, and revamping the gibbons’ arboreal environment with new poles and ropes.