Environment SA News

New world-class enclosure for Cleland’s koalas

Construction of a state-of-the-art new koala experience enclosure has started at one of South Australia’s most popular wildlife parks.

New world-class enclosure for Cleland’s koalas

The $2.57 million temperature-controlled koala loft will further enhance Cleland Wildlife Park’s reputation for best practice in conservation and animal welfare, while providing visitors with an educational experience.

It will allow visitors to interact with koalas all year round in a single location, eliminating the need to transport the animals between lofts across the park.

The new loft is being built by BMD Constructions, which was awarded the contract after an open tender process and is expected to be complete in late 2024.

Cleland Wildlife Park was established in 1967 and for more than 50 years has been much loved by visitors as a site to experience native wildlife. Koalas have been a constant over this period.

During the construction period there will be some temporary changes to visitor experiences, however visitors will still be able to have a close encounter, interact and observe the koalas.

Educational talks by experienced koala keepers, including habitat and conservation information, will continue to be provided daily.

Cleland Wildlife Park General Manager Michelle Hocking said Cleland Wildlife Park was one of the most visited locations in South Australia and the koala encounter experience is a large reason for its popularity.

"The welfare of our beloved species is a priority, and this new facility will ensure the koalas are housed in the best conditions possible every day of the year," she said.

"This is a much-needed upgrade and will provide a consistent climate and comfortable environment to Cleland’s koalas and the people visiting them.

"Cleland plays an important role in creating a sustainable environment where everyone can connect with nature and wildlife.

"The world-class upgrade will provide us an opportunity to showcase the conservation efforts being undertaken at Cleland while allowing visitors to observe the koalas up close.

"The new loft will allow us to continue providing an immersive nature experience where visitors can engage with our iconic koalas and learn about the importance of conservation."