'Getting up close and personal': Wildlife of the Gold Coast theme parks
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Extract: With the greatest concentration of theme parks in the southern hemisphere, Gold Coast residents and tourists alike are spoilt for choice. With two exceptions, these theme parks provide visitors with an opportunity to get 'up close and personal' with wildlife. In discussing theme parks I immediately run into a problem associated with defining the term since my interest is in the wildlife exhibits rather than the theme parks per se. The familiar theme parks of today, the large multi-purpose entertainment/education facilities (e.g. Dreamworld) include wildlife exhibits. What of the much smaller, single-purpose wildlife attractions? In some sense they were the catalyst for the wildlife exhibitions in larger parks that have a diversity of attractions. In this chapter I wish to discuss the wildlife attractions, no matter whether they are associated with the large multi-dimensional theme parks of today, or whether they focus purely on wildlife. For the purposes of this chapter I have, therefore, defined any attraction that allows patrons to view wildlife as a 'theme park'.
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