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Humanitarian calling for Marapana Wildlife pair

SOUTHERN suburbs icon Marapana Wildlife Park is on the market for $475,000 on a walk-in-walk-out basis.

The 25-year-old business has a 20-year lease with options for renewal and about $390,000 worth of stock and fittings.

Wildlife attractions include camels, emus, kangaroos, koalas and possums.

There is also a restaurant and splash pool.

The sale is aimed to provide funds for owners Tony Green-wood and Tracey Manning to pursue a humanitarian project in Vanuatu.

They have owned Marapana for two years and undertaken considerable renovations on the six-hectare property.

Mr Greenwood said he and Ms Manning had started off helping out the previous owners and ended up buying the business.

“We’re sad to be leaving it,” Mr Greenwood said.

“It’s an excellent business and we’re set for life here. But I can’t get on with it knowing the people [on Vanuatu] need me.”

The couple have spent about $160,000 of their own money to help out the villagers of Takara and Emau.

A large proportion of that has been spent shipping goods to Vanuatu.

It costs about $3,500 per container load and about $1,500 for a person to fly there. Mr Greenwood said he and Ms Manning had worked to gain back a lot of the international clientele Marapana had enjoyed in years past.

“We lost some international clients because the place was run down but we’ve got them back again,” he said.

“Now we’re getting a lot of international tours and school groups.”

The couple are not concerned, however, if the business does not sell. They plan to continue with their work in Vanuatu regardless.

Mr Greenwood said Ms Manning’s parents would continue to run the business in their absence.

“If we can’t sell Marapana we’ll work on the two together,” he said.

“The more people that come here will help generate more money for Vanuatu.”

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