1 November 2012
AUSTRALIA Zoo is forging ahead with plans to replicate the conservation park in the United States’ glitzy gambling capital.
The $300 million project to build a version of the famed Beerwah zoo in Las Vegas has been in the making for almost a decade.
The late Steve Irwin first spruiked the idea in 2004. It will become part of his 10-year dream to bring conservation to the world stage.
While Australia Zoo staff remained tight-lipped this week about the progress of the project, a spokeswoman confirmed negotiations were continuing.
A Sunshine Coast Destination Limited spokeswoman said the prospect of an Australia Zoo in Vegas could strengthen our connection with the US.
"It will raise the profile of Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, not only for our unique wildlife, but will also highlight what we have here," she said. Australia Zoo director Wes Mannion previously said the project would be of huge benefit to Australian tourism.
"It would be like establishing a window of opportunity for America to experience a taste of Australia with the hope of enticing them to visit our beautiful country," he said.
"This will enable Australia Zoo to educate millions of people on the importance of conservation and wildlife protection.
"The benefits from this project will go toward our wildlife projects in Australia and around the world."
Specifics of the Las Vegas zoo equivalent have not been released, including the number and types of Australian animals set for US shores.
Steve said in 2004 that "with 35 million people visiting Las Vegas each year, the zoo would be an unparalleled vehicle to promote Australia internationally".