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The zoo would will run an animal breeding program for threatened and endangered species including Asian elephants. The zoo would will run an animal breeding program for threatened and endangered species including Asian elephants. Featured
26 September 2017 Posted by 

THE BOYS BEHIND SYDNEY ZOO

Bringing the animals WEST
DI BARTOK
ANIMALS and nature conservation have long been passions for John and Jake Burgess, the father and son team behind the proposed Sydney Zoo.
The Burgess family’s love of nature and wildlife has been honed with avid bushwalking and wildlife experiences around the world in places such as South America,India, Africa and Papua New Guinea.
 
The two businessmen got their idea of putting their passion into a business while living in New Zealand.
 
“A neighbour was involved in the construction of Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World in Auckland in 1985,” John Burgess told WSBA.
 
“This captured our imagination and by 1986, we had secured the site for Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour. It was the largest aquarium in the world at the time when it opened in 1988.”
 
Sydney Wildlife Park, also in Darling Harbour, opened in 2006.
 
Jake Burgess grew up around the Aquarium and understands the fascination, excitement and joy that zoos and aquaria bring to children and families.
 
So, when the bid for Sydney Zoo came up, father and son jumped at the chance.
 
Facing up to criticism that zoos are cruel to animals, Mr Burgess Snr said the animals in his zoo would be “rockstars”, uncaged and roaming, to give visitors a safari experience.
 
John Burgess has emphasised that the facility, while called a zoo, will be a “exotic and native animal conservation sanctuary” 
 
He said the zoo would run an animal breeding program for threatened and endangered species including Asian elephants, lowland gorillas and tigers.
 
Mr Burgess said safari animals would be supplied from breeding programs in other Australian zoos.
 
After nearby Featherdale complained about perceived damage to their business by the recently approved $36 mill zoo, the State Government imposed restrictions on hands-on contact with koalas, which is Featherdale’s main attraction.
 
Mr Burgess Snr is working with Ken Allen’s Allen Partners and Stuart Capital Partners to raise the equity.
 
It is understood that the  trio has found support for 80 per cent of the deal from the investor market.
 
The sanctuary is estimated to bring $61M to Western Sydney, mostly through jobs during construction and in the running of the facility. Mr Burgess wants the zoo to be affordable for families, with free parking and picnic areas.
 
He said his zoo would not be harming Taronga Zoo’s business as most visitors would come from Western Sydney.


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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