By Lauren Ferrone
South Australia has been put on the map – literally.
Google Street View trekkers, Richard Elwasfi and Veril Ajaris (pictured in headline image), spent two days capturing imagery of Adelaide and Monarto Zoos – impressive considering Monarto spans one thousand hectares.
The special equipment and vehicles used by Richard and Veril during the filming attracted attention from a different kind of audience.
“It created some interest with some of our animals – especially the lions – who were curious about the activity happening at the zoo… they were stalking and chasing it,” laughs Zoo South Australia’s chief executive, Elaine Bensted.
She describes the technology as a way for international wildlife fans to virtually explore the zoos, describing it as a “fantastic tool for tourism”.
“Any tourist that comes to South Australia brings benefits to the State’s economy… the more activities we can present to a tourist, the more likely they are to spend longer here,” Elaine says.
“It’s about putting something different out there to entice people to stay longer and see more of what we have to offer – both as an organisation and a State.”
Elaine says it may also give potential visitors a chance to experience the extraordinary size and scale of Monarto Zoo, which is known as the largest open-range zoo in the world.
“While there’s no substitute for seeing our animals up close, a virtual tour is a fantastic way for anyone with an internet connection to share the wonder of the natural world, from anywhere across the globe,” she says.
“This innovation makes our sites more accessible than ever before, and will allow us to connect with supporters who may be lacking in mobility or living remotely.”
Google Street View launched in 2007 in several cities in the United States, and has since expanded to include cities and rural areas worldwide.
Zoos South Australia is a People’s Choice finalist in Brand South Australia‘s Regional Awards 2016 – Murraylands & Riverland celebration evening in Renmark tonight (Friday, October 14).
Access Zoos South Australia’s Google maps here and search ‘Adelaide Zoo’ or ‘Monarto Zoo’.