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After 10 days without power resilient Orana Wildlife Park re-opens 

September 17, 2013
After 10 days  without power resilient Orana Wildlife Park re-opens

The New Zealand free GoSeeNewZealand TravelSmart Club winner for August of the family passOrana Zoo prize is Cynthia Baker of Milford, North Shore City New Zealand.

Orana Wildlife Park re-opened on Saturday September 21. Recent storm winds to 140kmh caused major damage across the Canterbury Region of New Zealand and Orana Wildlife Park, at Harewood near Christchurch,was closed to the publicwithout electrical power for 10 days.

The storm hit the lower and western parts of the South Island. A record-breaking wind gust was recorded on the summit of 2190m Mt Hutt to the west of the Canterbury Plains and about an hours drive from Christchurch. Ski area manager James McKenzie said a gust of 251.9 kilometres per hour was recorded, breaking the previous record of 238kph logged in January.

The Orana Wildlife Park team worked incredibly hard caring for the animals.

But on Sunday, September 15, they could not provide heating for over 400 precious animals faced with a weather forecast for a -2 degrees Celsius night.

The park was told on Monday (Sept 16) that it could befive daysat the earliest before energy supplier Orion restored service. But , unfortunately, concerns that power would not be restoreduntil the weekend proved well founded. Orana Wildlife Park struggled to plan to care for its animals but theclean-up of storm damage at Oranawent so well that the wildlife park could have re-opened on Thursday September 19if electrical power had been available.

During the power outage three of Orana's older animals died. Theywere Nathalie a 25 year old giraffe, Felicity (12) a kangeroo and Mavara a 23 year old zebra. Mavara was euthanased due to poor health. Nathalie diedlast Tuesday night. She was a favourite among Orana's animals.

Good news for the future is Lusi (2) and Kiana (3), two young South African girls, now bolster the Orana Wildlife Park cheetah population to 13 animals (nine males and four females).

The unrelated cheetah queens were transferred from Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshorn, South Africa on 5 April as part of the zoo-based cheetah breeding program.

The cats had a 56 hour transit to New Zealand, including a 15 hour stop-over in Singapore. Park staff sincerely appreciate the assistance of Singapore Zoo staff who kindly assisted with feeding, watering and generally monitoring the animals in preparation for the next leg of their journey to Christchurch.

Cheetah are a flagship conservation species for Orana Wildlife Park and to date 18 cats have been raised to adulthood.

This is a significant achievement as cheetah are a notoriously difficult species to breed in captivity. Only a small number of zoos worldwide have experienced repeated breeding success with these quick cats.

Set in 80 hectares Orana is New Zealands only open range zoo. Orana Wildlife Park is located within 15 minutes drive of Christchurch Airport.

Over 400 animals, representing more than 70 species, are displayed at Orana Wildlife Park.

Internationally, Orana Wildlife Park is known for its breeding programs for Rothschild's giraffe, southern white rhinoceros, cheetah, scimitar-horned oryx and sable antelope.

Orana Wildlife Park on McLeans Island Road, Harewood is 10 minutes from Christchurch Airport and 25 minutes from Christchurch CBD. Open daily 10am until 5pm. Last entrance is 4.30pm. Closed Christmas Day.

GoSeeNewZealand.co.nz has joined Orana Wildlife Parks, Christchurch, Adopt an Animal program with a Black and White Ruffed Lemur adoption.

The program is open to individuals, families, school groups, clubs societies and businesses. All donations over $5 are tax deductible. Adoption funds go towards the costs of food, veterinary care, breeding programs and maintenance of the animals' homes.

www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz

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