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|Location||Hamilton, New Zealand|
|Land area||25 ha (62 acres)|
|Number of animals||400+|
|Number of species||93+|
|Major exhibits||Chimpanzee, Sumatran Tiger, White Rhino, Painted Hunting Dog, Small Cats, Small Primates, Free Flight Sanctuary|
Hamilton Zoo is the main zoological garden of Hamilton, New Zealand. Covering 25 hectares (62 acres), it is situated on Brymer Road in the Hamilton suburb of Rotokauri, on the outskirts of the metropolitan area towards the northwest. It is owned by the Hamilton City Council with the Department of Recreation and Welfare handling the day-to-day running of the site.
The park was founded in 1969 as a game farm, the Hilldale Game Farm. It was originally owned by a Mr and Mrs Powell. They mainly raised game birds but there was also a small collection of exotic mammals and birds.
The zoo become unprofitable and was facing closure in 1976 before the Hamilton City Council stepped in and brought the site, buildings, and stock. In 1984, the zoo again faced closure but due to public pressure the Council resolved to kept it open. Day-to-day running of the zoo was transferred to the Department of Recreation and Welfare.
A concept plan was drawn up to give the zoo a clear direction, this resulted in the Zoo Education Centre opening in 1987. The plan also called for upgraded and new exhibits, plantings, boardwalks, and paths.
The position of Zoo Director was created in 1989.
The zoo features a number of exhibits, some unique to the zoo. The zoo has over 200 bird species.
- Parrot Court — contains Australasian, South American and Indian parrots, including Yellow-bibbed Lory, Blue-and-yellow macaw, and the galah cockatoo.
- Rainforest Walkway — contains South American, Asian, and African Primates including black-capped capuchins and cottontop tamarins, Asian siamangs, and two lemur species; ring-tailed lemurs and ruffed lemurs. Other species include Asiatic golden cat, agouti and red panda.
- Free Flight Sanctuary — this is one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the southern hemisphere, housing a variety of native New Zealand birds.
- Reptile House — this includes tuatara, eastern water dragons, various geckos and blue tongued skink amongst others.
- Chimpanzee Exhibit — this exhibit features the zoo's chimpanzee troop which came from Auckland Zoo.
- Tiger Exhibit — the zoo currently has three Sumatran tigers, two female and one male.
- Waikato Wetlands — this area of the zoo has recreated to represent a local wetlands area for the Waikato Region. Kept here are New Zealand falcons. There are also black swans and other water birds on the lake, surrounded by a boardwalk.
- African Animals — one side of the zoo contains mainly animals from Africa including popular species such as white rhino, zebra, ostrich, cheetah, guineafowl, Lycaon pictus and giraffes, as well as the Asian nilgai and blackbuck. The zoo's herd of American bison is also located in this area.
No major future developments are currently scheduled for the zoo. however there are some minor works planned, including an upgrade to the giraffe accommodation.