Mogo Wildlife Park
Fortunately, thanks to a team of 15 zookeepers including director Chad Staples that stayed behind to defend the 26-hectare property without any assistance, Mogo Wildlife Park and all of its 200-odd animals were saved.
Reopened on 1 March, only to be closed again within weeks due to coronavirus restrictions, 2020 was a tough year for Mogo Wildlife Park, which was acquired by Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park just weeks before the fires. Thanks to a wave of support from the local community and visitors since Mogo Wildlife Park reopened last June, however, park staff have been busy creating new attractions, making it the perfect family outing during the winter months – especially for New South Wales residents who still have Dine & Discover vouchers to spare.
“Wildlife parks are living organisms,” says Chad. “There’s always something new to see at Mogo.” Here are just a few new attractions to look out for on your next visit…
Introducing Mogo camping
With overseas safaris off the cards for Aussies in 2021, Mogo Wildlife Park has brought the adventure to you. Launched in 2021, Mogo Camping is an innovative new camping experience that allows you to spend the night under the stars alongside Mogo Wildlife Park’s exotic animal family.
Ideal for families, couples, singles and groups, the new experience is all-inclusive. After checking in, you’ll enjoy a surprise animal encounter before enjoying an alfresco dinner, followed by live country music around the campfire. After dozing off in your comfortable tent to the soundtrack of the park’s animals, you’ll wake to a delicious breakfast at the tiger deck before the park opens, with your stay including Mogo Wildlife Park entry and a giraffe feeding experience. With everything from linen to cooking taken care of, all you need to do is turn up with a sense of adventure.
New animal encounters
Mogo Wildlife Park offers an array of ‘up close and personal’ encounters with its animals, from feeding a lion to playing with meerkats. You can even opt to take a cruise to the park’s ‘primate islands’, allowing you to handfeed its families of cheeky cotton-top tamarins and ring-tailed lemurs. A two-day wildlife photography course is also available.
Launching in mid-2021 are two new animal encounters to get excited about: the opportunity to hand feed kangaroos, as well as an immersive feeding experience involving zebra, ostrich and camels. Check the Mogo Wildlife Park website and Facebook page for updates.
As a facility involved in global breeding programs, Mogo Wildlife Park’s staff are always on baby-watch, with new bubs for 2021 to look out for including a zebra foal, a boy Toto, born to first-time mum Katali in March. Keepers are also expecting some silvery gibbon babies in May or June, so keep your eyes peeled for teeny, fluffy, additions to the park’s primate family.
The bushfire legacy
The legendary battle waged by Mogo Wildlife Park’s zookeepers to save the property from the raging fire that decimated the village of Mogo, and burned 90 percent of the park’s perimeter fencing, has added another dimension to the visitor experience.
By visiting the park and interacting with keepers, you can hear the incredible stories of that terrifying time directly from the staff members who raced towards the park on 31 December, 2019, to help enact its bushfire plan, not knowing whether their own homes would still be standing at the end of the day.
Funded by post-bushfire donations, Mogo Wildlife Park opened a veterinary hospital in 2020 to treat and rehabilitate its own animals as well as injured and displaced wildlife.