The director of a Port Stephens aquatic wildlife sanctuary that had its plan to re-open at a new site interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic says it is "amazing to see the light at the end of the tunnel".
The state government announced last Sunday that zoos and wildlife parks would be allowed to re-open to the public from June 1, as conditions brought in to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus are wound back.
Lia Pereira told the Newcastle Herald this week that a decision was yet to be finalised on when Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters would re-open its doors.
But there was relief that business would soon be able to get back up and running.
"The animals are going to be so excited to see the visitors again and we will finally get to peel the paper covering off the perspex viewing windows and see them in their true glory," Ms Pereira said.
"We have taken the approach of caution, we would much rather open slowly than contribute to the spread of COVID (19) or have to turn away so many eager people at once."
The animal sanctuary was in the process of relocating from its well-known Bobs Farm site to a new home at Anna Bay when the global health crisis took hold.
Instead of having a grand re-opening in early April, the business was forced to continue in uncertainty while facing the cost of looking after its sharks and rays as well as maintaining expensive aquatic equipment without any of its regular income.
High and unavoidable running costs - without money coming in - has been a problem many zoos and wildlife parks have faced during the lockdown.
The Herald reported earlier this week that Nulkaba's Hunter Valley Zoo and the Central Coast's Australian Reptile Park planned to re-open next week, along with Oakvale Farm at Salt Ash.
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