Detroit Zoo’s Australian Outback Showcases Native Animals and Culture

In 2012, Michigan resident Andrew Whiteman graduated with a BA in biology from Oberlin College in Ohio. There, he had the opportunity to assist with biology research in a laboratory setting, in addition to completing an internship at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Now back in Michigan, Andrew Whiteman volunteers as a guide at the Detroit Zoo, accompanying visitors through the Australian Outback Exhibit.

At the Australian Outback Exhibit, zoo guests can observe red kangaroos and wallabies up close with minimal barriers. Visitors travel along a path that winds through the exhibit, bordered off by only knee-high cables. At the same time, the marsupials move freely throughout the exhibit, and have access to two Outback-themed structures providing food and shelter. The exhibit’s educational content allows guests to not only observe the animals, but learn how they fit into the ecosystem of the Australian Outback.

Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of Australia through a variety of features. The exhibit showcases ancient aboriginal tools, weapons, and musical instruments, in addition to rock paintings known as petroglyphs. Guests can listen to traditional Australian instruments such as the didgeridoo, while young zoo patrons can take part in the “kangaroo jump” at the exhibit’s activity plaza.

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