Giant pandas Wang-Wang and Fu Ni will remain in South Australia for another five years while a new visitor centre will be constructed at Monarto Zoo.
Wang-Wang and Fu Ni will remain in Adelaide as part of a South Australian zoo package announcement.
The state government announced it extended the lease for the giant pandas to remain at Adelaide Zoo for five more years.
It was also announced that Monarto Zoo will receive A$15.8 million for a new visitors centre.
The federal government committed A$11.25 million, while A$4.55 million will come from the state government.
The investment is set to kickstart A$50 million in private investment by a private investor to develop accommodation at Monarto Zoo.
The visitor centre is stage one of the project and the accommodation is stage two.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said both zoos were major drawcards for the state and the extension would drive more visitors, tourists and economic revenue.
“The new Safari resort experience at Monarto will give SA another world-class attraction that will lure thousands of additional visitors,” he said.
“The new visitor centre is the first stage of the Monarto Zoo expansion project and is expected to unlock $35 million in private investment.”
Marshall said the extension would create hundreds of construction jobs and 90 ongoing.
“This extension will take it to another international level which would drive real economic participation and growth,” he said.
Monarto Zoo is the largest open-range facility in the country.
Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said about 600,000 people visit both zoos per year.
“The current visitor facilities at Monarto Zoo were built in 1997 and simply cannot cope with the rapid growth in visitation we’ve experienced in the past five years,” she said.
“Each year over the past five years, Monarto has had an increase of 20 per cent and we’re hopeful that will increase,” she said.
By Emily Cosenza