HALLS Gap Zoo is working on its biggest project yet.
The zoo is fundraising for two rhinoceroses – one from New Zealand and one from Canberra – to join Halls Gap and time is running out.
The zoo wants to raise $300,000 to transport the rhinoceroses to Halls Gap and build their enclosure.
Halls Gap Zoo general manager Carlee Vokes said the rhinoceros from New Zealand would need to be flown to Australia by September.
“We need to beat the start of the spring racing season when all the race horses start to be transported between Australia and New Zealand,” she said.
“Due to quarantine laws with exotic animals, he is not permitted to fly with any other animals.
“Timing is crucial with the transport operations.”
The cost to fly the rhinocesos from New Zealand is $26,000.
It will also need to be quarantined in New South Wales for four to six weeks before it can be transported to Halls Gap, which will cost $10,000.
Then they will need to be transported from New South Wales to Halls Gap which will cost a further $10,000.
The rhinoceroses were selected by the Zoo and Aquarium Association to join Halls Gap Zoo to become part of their breeding program.
“The rhinoceroses will bring a new line of blood to the breeding program,” Ms Vokes said.
“Rhinoceroses are endangered due to poaching and a loss of habitat.
“Rhinoceroses are difficult to breed.
“They need space to breed – something Halls Gap Zoo has – and they breed every three to four years.”
Halls Gap Zoo is running fundraisers to bring the rhinoceroses to the Grampians through crowdfunding.
It will also hold raffles and trivia nights in the next few months.
“We have raised $12,000 to $15,000 so far,” Ms Vokes said.
The zoo started their fundraising campaign in December, after they received permit approval from the necessary organisations.