• World famous Australian Reptile Park has been inundated with rain in a flash flood
  • The highly localised downpour has blocked off entry points to the Park
  • Hardworking keepers sprang into action to keep animals safe .

Staff at the Australian Reptile Park have spent this morning working toprotect animals and buildings after a major flash-flood hit the world-famouswildlife park during torrential rainfall.

Despite the flooding, the sudden downpour has been welcomed after months ofhot, dry weather and bushfires in the area.

Staff sprang into action; relocating animals, sandbagging doorways andsweeping to remove water from entry ways. The decision was also made to closefor the day due to visitor safety, which is the first time the Central Coastwildlife sanctuary has closed its doors since the massive floods during June2007 when the Pasha Bulker ran ashore at Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle.

Australian Reptile Park Director, Tim Faulkner, was there to lead his team,after returning from drought-affected waterways in the Barrington Tops area torescue endangered Manning River turtles and platypuses that have beendevastated by the dried-up creeks in the area.

Mr Faulkner said, “This is incredible! Just last week, we were having dailymeetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires, just 8km away from thePark here in Somersby.

“Today, we’ve had the whole team out there, drenched, acting fast to securethe safety of our animals and defend the Park from the onslaught of water.

“We haven’t seen flooding like this at the Park for over 15 years! We’ve evenhad keepers stationed at our Alligator Lagoon to monitor the water levels,which were rising beyond the fence line,” Mr Faulkner continued.

“The contrast between the current bushfire crisis and this sudden flooding isstriking. But we are well-aware that a huge part of Australia is stillburning, and millions of animals are still under threat. The rain doesn’treplace the millions of hectares of habitat that has been lost over the lastfew months.

“The team at the Australian Reptile Park has also been hard at work out in thefield helping our animal conservation charity, Aussie Ark, to protect what’sleft after the fires. Going from drought and fire relief to flooding is all ina day’s work for our staff – no two days are the same.

“Our quick action with the flooding this morning has allowed us to get thesituation under control and we are confident that we will be business as usualtomorrow. We’ll be open and ready to welcome visitors for the rest of thesummer school holidays!” Mr Faulkner concluded, “And we could do with the withthe help and continued support of our amazing community!”

The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo located the natural bush settingof the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle andrecently won 2019 Major Tourism Attraction in New South Wales. Visitors canenjoy live entertaining shows, themed exhibits and interaction with many ofthe wildlife sanctuaries residents. The Park is open daily from 9am-5pm, withcomplimentary parking and BBQ facilities. More information atwww.reptilepark.com.au

Image: credited to The Australian Reptile Park

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