Far North Queensland zoo owner hopes for deal
THE future of Shambala Animal Kingdom at Koah remains unclear after it was passed in at $950,000 at auction on Saturday but owner Elaine Harrison is still hopeful of finding a buyer this week.
If not, the various animals will be sent to zoos in Australia and wildlife parks in Indonesia for breeding and conservation programs.
Ms Harrison said it was disappointing that the zoo, formerly called the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve, did not sell under the hammer.
People were always fearful or worried about buying a property at auction, she said, although the agents were hoping to be able to present some written offers this week.
The property, in two lots, was available as a fully functioning zoo or as a beautiful piece of land with a number of buildings along with an application for a 30-person luxury lodge and 18 cabins.
But if anyone wanted to keep Shambala Animal Kingdom running as a zoo, they would have to be quick as Ms Harrison said she was due to sign the contracts on sending the animals to other zoos soon.
"The animals are going to be going to where they are going but I still have a couple of days," Ms Harrison said.
She said potential buyers knew she was signing up with three Indonesian safari parks for some of the larger animals in the next few days.
If the property did not sell immediately, she said she would study her options, including letting out houses on the spread while putting the property on the market.
Whatever happened, the zoo would be trading throughout the Christmas period, Ms Harrison said.
In the meantime the animals would be slowly acclimatised to crates for the journey to their new homes.
Yesterday Callum Jones of McGrath Real Estate at Port Douglas said he was dealing with a couple of potential buyers but he admitted the time was tight.
"Once Elaine has agreed in writing to do that (transfer of the animals), she won't go back on it," Mr Jones said.
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Zoo for sale: Shambala Animal Kingdom owner Elaine Harrison.