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Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo

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In 1990, the special interests of two outgoing individuals came together to create a unique attraction in central Kentucky. In that year, Bill and Judy Austin opened Kentucky Down Under to the public. Bill and Judy first met in New Zealand in the late 1960s. Judy, a native Australian, was working as a physical therapist on the island, while Bill, an engineer with the National Science Foundation, was preparing for an expedition to Antarctica.
In time, the two married and moved to Washington, D.C., but stayed there only a few years before deciding to move to Horse Cave, Bill’s hometown. Back home again, Bill became manager of Mammoth Onyx Cave which his grandfather had purchased in the 1920s. Throughout the years, peacocks and other small animals had been added to the park for visitors to enjoy on the surface in-between cave tours. Bill and Judy observed how much their guests liked these animals, and this encouraged them to add others. They started by adding a herd of American bison in the 1970s, followed by the Australian animals in 1990, and Kentucky Down Under was born.
  • Cultural