Due to the closing of Upper Parking for construction, please note that we are in the process of reinstalling the ATM at a centralised point from the new temporary entrances. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Joburg Zoo Hospital gets a R4.8-million makeover
23 March 2017
The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba, on Wednesday March 15 officially unveiled the new-look Johannesburg Zoo’s animal hospital, which has been revamped at a cost of R4.8-million.
The refurbished hospital, which has enhanced the zoo’s service offerings, has a much larger operating theatre and a public observation area.
The facility will also serve as a valuable educational asset for medical students, zoo keepers and members of the public without compromising the sterility of the environment.
The makeover is part of a R50-million City investment in the Johannesburg Zoo that includes the construction of a multi-storey parkade, maintenance and upgrading of existing enclosures and the acquisition of new animals to enhance visitor experience.
“Not only does the revamp of the zoo hospital enhance the scope of the services offered at the facility, but it also further entrenches it as a leader in conservation research and education,” said Cllr Sifumba.
The revamp has also enhanced the aesthetics of the once bleak-looking hospital. It now also includes a new specialised doorway to reduce the risk of sick animals escaping.
Cllr Sifumba said the extension of the facility was also necessitated by the increased demand on the hospital as the zoo grew over the years.
The zoo currently accommodates 365 animal species, including the big five, a phenomenal increase compared with just 10 animals, including two lions and a leopard, it had when it was established in 1904.
“The acquisition of new animals, coupled with the successful reproduction rates at the zoo and the need for increased conservation and animal welfare of endangered species, has accelerated the need for rapid medical response. However, the space to operate from became a major challenge,” said the MMC.
She said while the revamp had enhanced the hospital’s service offerings, there was a growing need to replace and upgrade aging medical equipment to make it a truly state-of-the-art facility.
“The upgrading of the zoo hospital is a vital step in ensuring that the animals in our care are afforded the necessary medical services in a safe, healthy and caring environment.
“To ensure we deliver and strive to provide our animals with the best veterinary care and treatment available, I appeal to members of the public and business within the medical fraternity to please donate specialised equipment to further enhance operations at the Joburg Zoo Hospital,” said Cllr Sifumba.
Joburg Zoo’s Letaba the Lion given a clean bill of health
16 February 2017
He may appear lean and shabby but Letaba the White Lion, a resident of the Johannesburg Zoo, is in “excellent health”, despite serious concerns raised by members of the public.
Associate Veterinarian Dr Kresen Pillay says the zoo was contacted by a National Inspector at the Wildlife Protection Unit of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) inquiring about Letaba’s health status after a member of the public raised concerns about him appearing “underfed”.
“Despite his physical appearance, Letaba is in excellent health, with a great appetite,” comments Dr Pillay.
He says Letaba’s “appetite is extremely healthy and he is fed 1.5 times more food than the equivalent-aged male lion”.
He explains that white lions carry a recessive gene that gives them their appearance. But as a result of inbreeding for profit operations, genetic defects are often present in white lions.
“Letaba shows a scoliosis and kyphosis deformation of his spine. However, he has had several health G-checks to assess the degree of deformation as well as obtain benchmark radiographs for future monitoring and receives ongoing care by the zoo staff.
“Letaba has also been assessed for pain and discomfort and has not shown any signs of this and is currently on joint supplements and daily monitoring,” says Dr Pillay.
“We will continue to treat him with the outmost care and give him the greatest quality of life,” says Dr Pillay.
Letaba’s distinctive coat and lackadaisical stride has made him a firm favourite with visitors to the Johannesburg Zoo following his arrival at the zoo in August 2014. He was born with sisters Sabi and Jubba at a private game farm in April 2014. The trio were later donated to the Johannesburg Zoo.
Sabi and Jubba do not carry the recessive gene that gives Letaba his colour coat.
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New Zoo Parkade
Visitors to the Johannesburg Zoo can look forward to a multi-story car park that is nearing completion.
Half a million visitors are welcomed to the zoo each year and parking space became inadequate, people resorted to parking along streets in the neighbourhood, often blocking driveways especially over weekends.
The shortage of parking space had also led to an increase in the number of informal car guards and vehicle break-ins.
Construction on the new parkade began in July 2015. The project was temporarily halted midway when contractors discovered an historic refuse heap on the construction site.
Over R17 million was allocated for the first phase of construction, a further R20 million will be spent on the second phase, which is scheduled for completion in November 2017.
The multi-million rand parkade will consist of a parking deck for over 600 vehicles and parking will initially cost R15 a day.
Visitors can park at alternative parking areas; Military Museum or Erlswold Way entrance whilst construction forges ahead.
Joburg Zoo welcomes three new tiger cubs
It’s not an everyday phenomenon that you get to meet a Siberian tiger cub up close and personal but at the Joburg Zoo, we make those every day little miracles happen.
We are proud to introduce to you our four new adorable pounces. These playful parent-reared cubs were born at the Zoo on 25 April 2016 and closely monitored by our zoo staff during the winter season. As we welcome spring, the cubs are now ready to discover the world. Siberian Tigers are listed as endangered animals on IUCN’s red list due to the terrible surge of poaching and habitat loss.
“We are passionate about all the animals in our care here at the zoo, our successful breeding programmes go a long way in ensuring the survival of these big cats in captivity.” said Agnes Maluleke, curator for carnivores. The Siberian Tiger and Bengal Tiger subspecies rank among the biggest living cats. An average adult Siberian Tiger outweighs an average adult male lion by 45.5kg.
Siberian Tigers are also known as Amur Tigers, they mate at any time of the year. Gestation lasts 3 to 3 ½ months. Litter size is normally two or four cubs but there can be as much as six. The cubs are born blind and stay with their mother until three months when they become interested in eating meat. The males will reach sexual maturity at the age of 48 to 60 months. Adopt on or all of our tiger cubs and contribute to our conservation programme.
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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo
Donation of dart gun by Global Supplies
Global Supplies has been at the cutting edge of delivering top class products and services to the wildlife industry for the last 16 years. Together with Pneu-Dart they have generously donated an X-Caliber CO2 Projector to the Johannesburg Zoo. “This system is a leader by a long way and definitely the most widely used darting system in Africa.” says JJ van Altena.
JJ van Altena, Director of Global Supplies, presented the veterinary team with the prized rifle and reiterated the enthusiasm in given the opportunity to partner with the Zoo.
Pneu-Dart’s most recent innovation – the X-Caliber – is the most attractive and practical gas based dart projector ever built. Altena states that the X-Caliber, has become a favourite for those seeking a versatile, pressure-gauged full volume dump, lightweight projector without sacrificing range or accuracy.
The benefits of the X-Caliber are that it is quiet, dart ranges are the greatest and the most accurate, it is also the most affordable on a per shot basis.
Dr Kresen Pillay the zoo’s vet said that he is very impressed with the rifle and that it will assist with the darting of tricky animals like the wild dogs.
Ioanna Karamitsos the fundraiser thanked JJ van Altena and team for the kind donation, “this is one of the key pieces of equipment that we needed at the newly renovated, state of the art animal hospital.”
To donate to the animal hospital please contact Ioanna Telephone: 011 646 2000 ext 2242
Join City Parks in celebrating wetlands for our future
8 February 2016
International Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally every February to create awareness about the importance of wetlands to our environment.
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo will be hosting two events around wetlands this month:
- On 18 February, learners, officials and residents of Dobsonville will gather at Dorothy Nyembe Park in Soweto to clean up the wetlands and learn about their uses. Alien Invasive species will also be removed along the waterway to ensure natural flow.
- On 26 February, learners have been invited to the Zoo to learn about wetland animals.
Joburg Zoo's wetland system purifies Zoo Lake water
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
JOBURG ZOO'S innovative wetland system not only hosts a large number of bird species that are sensitive to climate-related changes - it also serves as the Zoo's own water purification project.
Comprising a graded series of tanks and reed formations, the Zoo's wetland system plays a major role in cleansing water from two tributaries of the Braamfontein Spruit before it flows into Zoo Lake on the other side of Jan Smuts Avenue and beyond.
The two tributaries, one coming from the south and the other from the east, merge at the Zoo, carrying large amounts of dirt and pollution. The purpose-built wetland system purifies this firstly by means of a sieve tank for catching large pollutants and a catchment tank for smaller pollutants, which sink to the bottom and are pumped out into the City's sewer system.
The partially cleansed water then flows through three wetland reed bed ponds planted in row formation to maximize the natural biological filtration process, and through gravel layers to filter it further. Fish and bacteria have also been released to feed off the nutrients in the water.
The beauty of the system is that, besides purifying the water, it attracts birds, insects and other wildlife. A large number of free-flying birds have settled in the area, creating a fantastic display for Zoo visitors while augmenting the Zoo's extensive resident bird collection, which includes a large number of water fowl, cranes and storks.
The Zoo's next project will be to redirect the flow of some of the water back into the Zoo, helping to #savewater by cutting back on the Zoo's consumption of water supplied by the City.
Zoo voted Joburg's No. 1 family outing
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
JOHANNESBURG Zoo has got the big thumbs-up from The Star readers, being voted No. 1 in the Best Family Outing category in the newspaper's annual Your Choice competition.
Run over a period of six weeks, the competition gave readers the opportunity to cast their votes in two ballots for their favourite services and businesses across a wide range of categories.
In Johannesburg, the Zoo took the Family Outing honours, with especially strong scores for customer service, customer needs and wants satisfaction, and public exposure resulting in a vote of confidence from customers and stakeholders within the business.
Covering 55 hectares across the road from Zoo Lake in the leafy suburb of Parkview, Joburg Zoo houses over 320 species totalling around 2 000 animals.
The facility is open to the public 364 days a year, including the Christmas, New Years and Easter holidays, and hosts a busy schedule of day and night tours, school holiday programmes and other regular events for the public.
Mothers have a ball at the Joburg Zoo
Kaya FM’s first-ever Mother’s Day Concert at the Johannesburg Zoo yesterday – featuring award-winning Lira and other highly talented
musicians – was a runaway success, with more than 15 000 people from all corners of the city attending
Read the complete article here.
The Joburg Zoo to the rescue of 6 crocodiles
The Johannesburg Zoo has been called to assist with the accommodation of 6 crocodiles.
The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) together with the
Green Scorpions confiscated 6 crocodiles from an owner that housed them without a proper permit.
The crocodiles will be kept at the Zoos quarantine area until a suitable location can be found for them.
The zoo has experience in capturing and housing crocodiles, particularly during cooler temperatures.
The crocodiles will be medically assessed and treated.
The owner appears in court on Tuesday 28 April 2015.