May 22, 2024


Explore Down Under with Marvelous Marsupials and Other Species Native to Australia and Surrounding Regions

Down Under, the Zoo’s newest multi-species habitat, opens on May 24. Members and guests can explore Wallaby Way, an immersive pathway experience where they’ll get up close with our red-necked wallabies and red kangaroos, and get to say g’day to adorable tree kangaroos and bright-blue cassowaries. This new habitat encompasses the former site of Bird World and part of the historic pachyderm habitat, and makes up more than two acres of our 80-acre campus.

Wallabies_Marshmellow + Unknown_051724_extended

A New Home for Australasian Species 

In addition to Wallaby Way, where guests will gain insight into the world of wallabies and kangaroos and the crucial role they play in their ecosystem, they’ll also observe Huon tree kangaroos Pearl and Tristan, who both arrived in 2023 and are a new species at the Zoo. As an endangered species from Papua New Guinea, Huan tree kangaroos are unique and rare (and adorable). Down Under also provides a new home for cassowaries Neville and Salem with more space for potential conservation breeding in the future as part of their Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  


Sharing the First Nations Peoples’ Story 

Down Under reflects our commitment to sharing First Nations peoples’ perspectives to highlight the connections people have to nature and place, and stewardship of wild lands. In building the Down Under story, we worked closely with First Nations advisors, including Artist and Poet Kirli Saunders, a proud Gunai woman with ties to the Biripi, Gundungurra, Yuin and Dharawal peoples of the east coast of Australia. Kirli helped reimagine the Down Under habitat through art and engaging with First Nations Traditional Custodians to integrate a cross-cultural exploration of connection toand care forCountry. Her murals in Down Under replicate palettes from the Australian landscape and emphasizes the relationships of culturally significant species with native plants, bush medicines and community.  

Kirli Saunders Art

It's Also About the Flora  

From rock materials recycled from other projects within the Zoo to a recycled water irrigation that will save millions of gallons of potable water each year, everything in Down Under is done with sustainability in mind. And although most of the plants used in the landscape are not native to Australia, our horticulture team took great care to select species native to Colorado that are hardy in our climate and have the “look and feel” of Australia. This results in a landscape that conserves water, provides habitat for pollinators and invertebrates, and contributes to a healthy ecosystem on campus. 

Denver Zoo received more than $1.5 million in community support for the construction of Down Under as part of our “Into the Great Wild Open” campaign, which supports all the great work we do, including access and education, animal care and new animal habitats and field conservation and sustainability efforts. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DenverZoo.org.

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