David Fleay Wildlife Park
David Fleay Wildlife Park is a heritage-listed wildlife park at Fleays Wildlife Park Conservation Park, Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera, Queensland, Australia. It was built from 1952 to 1983. It is also known as Fleays Wildlife Park. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 23 February 2001.
Established by Australian naturalist David Fleay in 1952, the Park today is home to many native animals, which are displayed in surroundings similar to their natural habitats. Managed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Park aims to raise community awareness about the need to protect native animals, especially rare and threatened species. The Park has a long tradition of breeding native animals and also includes an animal hospital for sick, injured and orphaned animals.
After investigating areas around Brisbane and South East Queensland, Fleay selected the Tallebudgera Estuary as a suitable site for a fauna reserve in late 1951. He acquired land there for a reserve in 1952, and added further parcels of land to the reserve in 1958 and 1965. Fleay's Fauna Reserve, as it was originally known, was established as a place of scientific research and education. Snakes, dingoes, scrub turkeys, ospreys, crocodiles and alligators lived at the sanctuary in "benevolent captivity", whilst bandicoots, flying foxes, the endangered eastern bristlebirds, white-breasted sea eagles, wallabies and koalas were free to come and go as they pleased. The Nocturnal house provides visitors the opportunity to view nocturnal animals such as the platypus, yellow-bellied glider, bilby and mahogany glider.
In order to ensure the future survival of the sanctuary, David and Sigrid Fleay sold a large portion of the reserve (37 acres) to the Queensland Government in 1982, which became a Conservation Park. The main area of the Fauna Reserve housing the animals (20 acres) was also sold to the Government the following year. The remainder of the site (7.5 acres) was transferred to the Government in 1985. David and Sigrid Fleay continued to live at Fleay's Wildlife Park following the transfer of ownership, where David continued his research and kept animals, such as kangaroos, emus, cassowaries and his Galápagos tortoise, Harriet, largely in their original enclosures. The Park closed in 1983 for redevelopment, re-opening in 1988. David Fleay died on 7 August 1993. In October 1995, 7.4488ha of the site was gazetted as Fleay's Wildlife Park Conservation Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) and today is operated by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for the people of Queensland. The Park was renamed David Fleay Wildlife Park in 1997, in tribute to its founder.