Relief for Koorana Crocodile Farm, Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary and Rockhampton Zoo

Staff from Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary, Koorana Crocodile Farm and Rockhampton Zoo will sleep a little easier at night following the Federal Government’s unveiling of a $94.6 million support package to assist with operations as they ride out the COVID-19 predicament.

The welcome news of this much-needed funding lifeline lifted a heavy weight from Cooberrie Park’s management and staff, who were struggling to find financial reprieve with their continued animal welfare operating costs, despite the closure of the Sanctuary to the public early in March.

With hundreds of mouths still to feed and a duty of care to continue their support for injured, abandoned and neglected animals, Cooberrie Park, who relies solely on tour admissions and donations, were battling one day at a time to keep their important operations afloat.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO, Mary Carroll is grateful to the Australian Government for listening and responding to the needs of our local wildlife operators, who are major tourism drawcards for our destination.

“It is absolutely essential that our local wildlife parks and farms, such as Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary and Koorana Crocodile Farm can still operate successfully on the other side of this calamity and breathe life back into our tourism industry during the recovery phase,” said Mary.

“Both Cooberrie Park and Koorana have quickly watched their revenue streams run dry across the fallout from this crisis and have needed to lean more on the local community to support with donations.”

“Already on the backfoot from recent bushfires which swept through their property, Cooberrie Park, have played a leading role in wildlife recovery throughout the current pandemic, returning many wounded animals back to sound health.”

Kieron Smedley from the Wildlife Sanctuary, who led a local campaign calling on Government to consider relief for Queensland wildlife parks following closure, welcomed the great news this morning, breathing a sigh of relief on behalf of his much-loved marsupial and reptile residents.

“We are so thankful to the local community, Capricorn Enterprise, Michelle Landry, Pauline Hanson and Koorana Crocodile Farm for their work behind the scenes and continued commitment in getting us all through this tough time,” said Kieron.

Even though their doors have been closed to the public for over a month now, Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary still requires regular income in order to sustain their hundreds of friendly dwellers living permanently within their network,  entertaining and bringing joy to thousands of visitors each year. 

With final terms and conditions still outstanding, both Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary and Koorana Crocodile Farm are confirmed to be eligible for the package.

The funding is part of the government’s Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Eligible businesses will have access to grants that contribute up to six months of animal welfare operating costs.

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