First look: Symbio's new reptile house 'second to none'

One of the exhibits inside the new reptile house at Symbio Wildlife Park. Picture: GREG ELLIS
One of the exhibits inside the new reptile house at Symbio Wildlife Park. Picture: GREG ELLIS

It doesn't open for two weeks but the head of the Australian Zoo and Aquarium Association was given a sneak peek of the new reptile house at Symbio Wildlife Park this week.

Executive director Chris Hibbard said the Radnidge family were doing fantastic things at Symbio thanks to their passion and the personal hands-on approach of Matt and Michael Radnidge.

"Symbio has got a very strong reputation within the industry," Mr Hibbard said.

"They work very closely with us with very positive dialogue. We are very pleased because Symbio is now involved in 22 of the association's co-ordinated breeding programs. It is punching well above its weight for a park this size."

Mr Hibbard said John Radnidge and his family were running a very viable business and great tourist attraction, while placing enormous importance on conservation efforts.

He said exhibits such as the new reptile house and koala sanctuary were a great example of best industry standards.

"The quality of the finish and the provision for the animals is second to none," he said.

"I am particularly proud of the work they have done with the Sumatran tiger. It is a program I personally manage in this part of the world.

"It is a program that is integrated with colleagues in Japan, North America and Europe, with direct conservation links back to Indonesia. Symbio plays a really important role in this international breeding program."

Mr Hibbard praised the solar power and water storage facilities on the new reptile exhibit and was also impressed with the facilities and access behind each exhibit.

Mr Hibbard was visiting Symbio as part of an accreditation process recognised as best practice in the world.

He said since Symbio was last granted in accreditation in 2007, the process had completely changed to raise the bar on the industry in Australia.