Meerkats at Snakes Downunder.
Meerkats at Snakes Downunder. mike knott

Local zoo given nod of approval

SNAKES Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo has been recognised for progressive animal welfare practices as part of a world-leading accreditation program that assesses welfare in zoos and aquariums.

The park's Ian Jenkins said while they knew the Zoo and Aquarium Association's Accreditation 2020 Program, which includes on-site assessment, was coming - they were thrilled to be associated with the "world-renowned” program.

Mr Jenkins said they worked tirelessly to ensure the animals at Snakes Downunder were in an "optimum conditions”, with plenty to keep them occupied.

ZAA Executive Director Nicola Craddock said with the latest iteration, this was the most ambitious program for promoting positive animal welfare of any zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries in the world.

"It requires the animal care professionals to use their unique knowledge of both the species and the individuals to assess how that particular animal is affected by its situation,” said Ms Craddock.

"This approach champions welfare from the animal's perspective.”

With the recent addition of Imu, Otavi and Leo, the three meerkats who now call Snakes Downunder home, the park's Ian Jenkins hopes they will be able to be part of a breeding program in the future.
With the recent addition of Imu, Otavi and Leo, the three meerkats who now call Snakes Downunder home, the park's Ian Jenkins hopes they will be able to be part of a breeding program in the future. mike knott

Mr Jenkins said having the accreditation made them think and the future plans were exciting should they come to fruition.

With the recent addition of Imu, Otavi and Leo, the three meerkats who now call Snakes Downunder home, Mr Jenkins hoped in the future they would be able to be part of a breeding program.

But in the meantime they're kept busy with the park's vast number of animals and are eagerly awaiting the Christmas holiday crowds.

The opening hours throughout the Christmas holidays will remain the same, 9.30am-3pm every day except Wednesday, when they are closed.

ZAA accredited organisations can be found at www.zooaquarium.org.au.