If you go to sleep thinking of cuddling baby animals in the hope you'll wake up next to one, your dreams might be about to come true. Sydney's Taronga Zoo have released their plans to build a new 58-room "eco-resort" right in the middle of the zoo.
Evidently building off the success of the zoo's Roar and Snore — a pretty amazing overnight stay at the zoo, which involves camping in tents and seeing the animals after dark and early in the morning — this new initiative, the Taronga Wildlife Retreat, will create a new immersive overnight experience for visitors to the zoo. They'll stay in "luxury pods" within the proposed Australian Habitat section of the zoo, which will supposedly be surrounded by native fauna and animals. There will be koalas, wallabies and platypus. I repeat: koalas, wallabies, platypus.
The plans for the retreat, which have just been lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, look set to cost upwards of $44 million. And while the aim is to support conservation by educating and inspiring visitors (many of whom will be international), critics are questioning whether that money wouldn't be better spent on improving conditions for the animals at the zoo. An environmental impact statement still has to be put together, so we'll see how this plays out.