Can you tell us a bit about Altina Wildlife Park and how your visitor experience connects people and nature?
Altina is a privately run zoo founded by Gino & Gloria Altin in 2004, after trips to Africa & many safari tours & experiences. These trips were the inspiration to create a unique experience for visitors with an added Australian twist. The property at Darlington Point was ideal, as it as majestic native trees & backs onto the Murrumbidgee River. Instead of driving visitors around the 208ha open range Park, it was decided to incorporate horse-drawn carts pulled by Clydesdales. This connects Australian history with a promising future for species.
Not long after opening, Gino & Gloria’s 3 children (Rebecca, Rick & Crystal) joined in to make Altina a completely family run zoo. The mission is to create & maintain memorable educational visitor experiences & in so doing, inspire unity in our goal to conserve wildlife & the environment.
What are some of the key conservation initiatives the park is involved in?
Altina houses over 40 species, both native & exotic & many threatened. Each is as important as the others & keeping each one genetically viable is of upmost importance. Altina is part of many conservation programs & has assisted significantly in helping the survival of endangered species like scimitar oryx, addax, white rhinoceros, Tasmanian devils, African cape hunting dogs & the elegant maned wolf.
Altina is also part of many national & global networks (ZAA, Species 360, EEP, AZA & WAZA). These networks assist Altina in locating genetically viable individuals to ensure that we can achieve the best breeding outcomes.
Tell us about a welfare idea you or your team came up with to enrich life for your animals.
Animal welfare with a strong emphasis of encouraging natural behaviours is foremost in Altina’s mission. The Park focuses on providing conditions that simulate natural behaviour from the size, location and outfit of the enclosures themselves to allowing and encouraging all facets that encompasses what they would normally experience in the wild thus enhancing natural instincts.
As the tours are currently by appointment only, the animals only see visitors twice daily after which they are left to go about interacting as a group as they would in the wild, therefore optimising positive welfare outcomes.