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Public support urged as attractions open their doors

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“Hoot” an injured Tawny Frogmouth is a feathered favourite with Tanya Dodds and Tiah Hayes at Flying High Bird Park.

The Bundaberg Region is blessed with some of the most incredible attractions – natural and man-made – and access to these treasures is available from today.

Flying High Bird Park and Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo are two major attractions opening today under the State Government’s planned easing of lockdown restrictions.

The parks have both suffered their share of financial stress as they have weathered the financial storm created by the CORVID-19 pandemic.

Ian and Tanya Dodds of Flying High Bird Park at Apple Tree Creek had spent months redeveloping the attraction and were heavily invested, both financially and physically, in the venture and were just starting to progress a staged opening when the pandemic struck.

The business, like Ian and Barbie Jenkins’ Snakes Downunder, was closed to public access towards the end of March to comply with lockdown restrictions.

Both attractions have birds and animals as their star performers, and simply because the doors are closed doesn’t mean the “inmates” stop eating.

The cost to sustain the birds and animals at Flying High is not chicken feed.

“Our feed bill is around $1500 a week and with no income you can see for yourself how the costs can escalate,” Tanya said.

Snakes Downunder promoted a Facebook “adopt an animal” initiative which saw people like Council staff member Robyn Silcox and newly elected Councillor May Mitchell take up the challenge and financially support the zoo’s inhabitants.

attractions open
Mayor Jack Dempsey and Council staff member Robyn Silcox enjoy a meerkat encounter at Snakes Downunder. Robyn “adopted” a meerkat to financially assist the park in maintaining its animals during the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, both attractions are hoping the general community will take the opportunity to enjoy a drive across to Childers and visit the cute and the quirky at Flying High and Snakes Downunder.

Tanya said Flying High will be open seven days a week from 9 am until 3 pm with visitors asked to be aware of the limit of 20 patrons at any one time. Bookings are advised on 4126377.

“The close-down has allowed us to undertake a little more work and I’m certain visitors will thoroughly enjoy the experience.”

Boasting more than 2000 birds and a variety of native animals, Flying High Bird Park is the largest free-flight aviary in Australia.

“Everyone can be assured of a raucous welcome from ‘Chopper’, the chatty Major Mitchell cockatoo and perhaps have their ear nibbled by ‘Spud’, the Quaker Parakeet,” Tanya said.

Snakes Downunder is planning a staged opening until the school holidays when full opening hours will again be implemented.

“At this stage we will be open this weekend June 6 and 7, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for June 12, 13, 14, and June 19, 20, 21 and then for the whole of the June-July holiday,” Ian said.

Session times at Snakes Downunder are 9.30 am – 11 am, 11.30 am – 1 pm and 1.30 pm – 3 pm and bookings can be made on 41263332.