Look inside the new interactive Australia exhibit at the Great Plains Zoo

June 26, 2019

The new Walkabout Australia exhibit at the Great Plains Zoo immerses visitors in their experience in unique ways that  already are drawing more guests.

The area featuring kangaroos allows guests to walk inside, sharing the space with animals without watching them from behind a barrier.

An aviary for lorikeets invites visitors to feed the rainbow-colored birds nectar, causing them to land right on you.

Sheep can be brushed and pet.

Take a look at the new additions to the zoo below.

It’s the kind of attraction that holds a lot of appeal for visitors, said president and CEO Elizabeth Whealy.

“All of those up-close and personal experiences that people have — hopping right alongside kangaroos, getting to share a space with lorikeets and sheep — that’s really amazing,” she said.

Although all of the new exhibits are outdoors, Whealy said most of the new animals adapt well to the South Dakota climate. The only seasonal exhibit is the lorikeets, which will be available through the end of the summer and then start back up again next April.

Whealy said the next big change the zoo is working on is its lion exhibit, which has been in the fundraising process for a few years. While the zoo is waiting for fundraising to be completed before it announces the official opening of the exhibit, she said the campaign is moving along well.

“It will bring us the opportunity to be a breeding center for lions, which are slated for extinction in the wild in the next 20 to 30 years,” she said. “From a purely visitor standpoint, it’s so amazing to watch these charismatic animals.”

“It really is a community opportunity to grow a great, vibrant zoo. We’re just opening our arms to everyone who can come alongside us and help us build it.”

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Look inside the new interactive Australia exhibit at the Great Plains Zoo

We got an up-close look at the new Australia exhibit at the Great Plains Zoo.

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