|The following Review
of Alma Park was kindly provided by Nigel Foster.
I visited this zoo April 2002. It is not the most impressive of zoos, and at $20.00 entry fee per adult, it was not really value for money. However, I believe that the current owners plan to turn it into a far better zoo than it is now, as funds permit. The enclosures were mainly of the steel cage variety, and generally not suited to their inhabitants, especially the primates.
There was one small steel cage that once housed a leopold. It is now empty. Why the zoo has not demolished that cage is beyond me. At the far end of the zoo is a lake, but it is not clear if the zoo owns the land right around the lake. There is certainly room for potential if they do own that land.
Some of the enclosures are well designed, and give the inhabitants more room. My pick would be the Sun bear enclosure. One of the bears suffer from arthritis, and the staff are doing all they can to try and treat this condition, or at least eliminate the pain/suffering.
The grounds are well loked after -- it could almost pass as a botanical garden (this is probably Alma parks strongest point). I am not sure what future this zoo will have, as The Australia Zoo (an hour north)has ambitious plans to be Queenslands premier zoo. But I wish the staff at Alma park all the best for any future development.
This zoo looked like Wellington zoo (NZ) about 6 years ago. I will be interested to see what it will be like in 6 years time. There is a cafeteria/giftshop complex on site.
Alma Park Zoo was established in 196 as a native fauna reserve but gradually changed its focus as exotic animals were obtained. The present owners bought the zoo in 1981 and have continued to operate it as a family business. Their aim is to provide excellant homes for all their animals as money permits.
The Zoo is a private business and receives no support from the government. As such it is totally reliant upon gate fees and the generosity of local business. All the better quality exhibits have only been built through sponsership.