Canberra, 7th of December 2017. A delegation from the National Zoo of Cuba consisting of its Deputy Director Eduardo Padrón and the biologist Carlos Alberto Álvarez completed a working visit to Australia to promote cooperation with local zoos.
During the visit, an exchange took place with specialists and experts from the zoos of Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, with whom the possibilities of technical advice for the design and construction of an Australian exhibit on the island, adapted to the conditions of its tropical climate, as well as the identification of the endemic species that could be part of this program, discarding those that are in danger of extinction, were discussed. At the same time, the exchange of experiences, joint seminars, staff training and reciprocal visits were discussed and proposed, in order to establish a permanent scientific cooperation in this noble field.
The Australian zoos expressed great interest in supporting the work of the National Zoo of Cuba and in putting in place these scientific exchanges.
The National Zoological Park, the largest of the 23 facilities of this type in Cuba, is currently executing a master investment plan to remain an attractive option for Cuban families, improving the quality of its offers and increasing the level of animal welfare.
The area destined for the Australian exhibition is part of this plan and when achieved gradually, it would make it possible for Cubans to get to know unique animals of the Australian fauna, such as the well-known kangaroos, emus and wonbats (a shorter and beefier pig species capable of causing significant damage to the bodywork of a car during road accidents).
In 2012, an agreement signed between Cuba and Namibia allowed the acquisition of 146 animals of 23 species, in what became known as "Operation Arca de Noé".
The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its gratitude to the Embassy of Cuba for the initiative and promised its continuous cooperation in the development of this new initiative within the framework of the excellent relations between the two countries.