Hippo hippo hooray as animals splash in extra water


Hippo hippo hooray as animals splash in extra water

An additional 10 million litres of water has recently flowed into eight waterholes at Monarto Safari Park, as part of an ongoing partnership with SA Water to help improve animal welfare and local biodiversity.

First established in 2020, the clay-lined waterholes have been topped up with raw River Murray water from the Murray Bridge to Onkaparinga Pipeline, ahead of the new Wild Africa precinct welcoming a range of animals such as Nile Hippos and Southern White Rhinos.

As well as enabling a space for the free-roaming animals to bathe, drink and play, the water is also now used to irrigate areas surrounding the waterholes – creating ‘greening belts’ with vegetation for grazing and refuge.

Director of Monarto Safari Park Peter Clark said the waterholes are even attracting a diversity of native birdlife to the area.

“Now there’s a permanent source of water where there normally wouldn’t be, we’ve observed this fringe benefit which is enabling vital habitat for hundreds of native birds,” Peter said.

“Having access to this water through our wonderful partnership with SA Water has been one of the key drivers of our expansion, as it secures a cost-effective supply we can harness to improve the long-term welfare of our animals.

“In addition to keeping our waterholes at a healthy level, we’ve also invested in 50 hectares of irrigation pipes to tap into this water supply and grow vegetation around the waterholes – helping green this space to create a source of refuge for the animals from potential bushfires, and provide food for grazing.

“Excitingly, the water from SA Water’s pipeline will even help our hippos make quite the splash when their new concrete baths are complete and ready to enjoy.

“Once our new safari experience is open and our animals have moved into their permanent paddocks, it will truly be reminiscent of the waterholes across Africa where animals are able to congregate, drink and cool off.”

Monarto Safari Park’s largest waterhole stores up to 15 million litres of water and has been purpose-built for the hippos, with a maximum depth of three metres, enabling them to swim.

SA Water’s General Manager of Customer, Community and Engagement David Coombe said it’s fantastic to see the role water is playing in the sustained conservation of Monarto Safari Park’s animals.

“We’re proud to be partnering with such an iconic South Australian organisation to support the enduring work they do to preserve some of the world’s rarest animals,” David said.

“Securing a supply of water from one of our major pipelines is a terrific outcome as it will provide a year-round source of around 35 million litres to keep the park green, especially during summer.

“Enabling our customers to expand and contribute to the economic growth of our state is one of the reasons we exist, and is also why we’re now also upgrading our local water network to increase the flow to Monarto Safari Park, as they prepare to open their new resort.”





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