Two of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island’s most famous residents, Dingoes Dekota and Doza have finally made the trip home after their exhibit was severely damaged by Cyclone Debbie in March of this year.
The transfer marked the final stage in preparation before the attraction re-opened its doors today, approximately four months after Cyclone Debbie brought destruction to the North East coast of Queensland.
During wind speeds of up to 270kmph, Hamilton Island was less than 15km from the eye of the storm and suffered widespread damage. The WILD LIFE park itself endured extensive damage including the primary external perimeter fence, internal containment fences, walkways and safety railings.
Along with several of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island’s koalas, Dingoes Dekota and Doza have called Australia Zoo home since the storm, being cared for by a team of dedicated keepers while their enclosure was being repaired.
Rob Hall, General Manager of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island was pleased to finally welcome the animals back home and commented:
“The WILD LIFE team are thrilled to have two of their favourite animals home following what has been a trying time for all. We are extremely grateful to team at Australia Zoo for all they have done coming to our assistance and taking such good care of Dekota and Doza while we rebuilt their exhibit.
“The dingoes rode out the storm in an apartment on island with their Keeper Connor Dolan where they were safe and had the daily comforts of a sofa and television. Both animals have handled the transfer to and from Australia Zoo very well and it is heart-warming to see them enjoying the changes we have made to their home at the park.”
Kelsey Engle, Australia Zoo Curator, Australian Zoo also commented: “Doza and Dekota may not have been with us long but they have certainly captured our hearts. They have helped thousands of our guests gain a better understanding of Dingoes and shown people how important this amazing species is to our Australian bush. We are definitely going to miss their happy faces but we’re also thrilled to see them heading home to Wildlife Hamilton Island”.
From 7th August, WILD LIFE Hamilton Island will be opening in stages with the zoo and gift shop operating, as well as Koolah Cafe which will offer light lunches, snacks, hot and cold beverages and ice-creams.
The zoo’s much loved Dingoes, Pythons, Blue-tongued skink and chatterbox Freddie the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo will all be standing by to say hello and allow guests to pose for a magical photo experience. Dingo encounters will be available from 11th August.
Due to a shortage of Eucalyptus leaf supply on the island, it is expected that Koala Encounters as well as the famous Koala Breakfast service will reopen for the September holidays. Until this time, Australia Zoo will continue caring for the WILD LIFE Park’s furry friends.
By the end of October, it is expected that the park will be fully operational and the team will be able to finally put Cyclone Debbie behind them and focus on continuing to provide a true Aussie animal adventure to local and international guests alike.
For more information regarding WILD LIFE Hamilton Island’s experiences, or to book online and save, visit www.wildlifehamiltonisland.com.au