KF: What sets Taronga apart from other zoos?

PM: Well, I think it's a combination of the really rich experiences with native animals and seeing things in a really natural context. Of course, it's the wonderful views as well, so those things are what people most comment upon as far as being a great zoo.

KF: Can you tell us a bit about the zoo's history?

PM: Yes, it's got an interesting history. This used to be a swampy marsh area. ... No one ever thought that people would live here, or that it would be the kind of exclusive suburb it is now. In 1916, they barged animals across, cleared some area and opened the zoo—I think it was in April of that year—and it has really evolved from being a traditional zoo into more of an immersive educative role now. We're still heading in the right direction—every zoo has to change and as technology improves, the zoos will improve as well—but I'm really, really happy where it is at the moment, from both the visitors' and the animals' perspectives.

Next: Paul reveals his favorite animal at the zoo


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