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Perth Zoo's big animals may be moved to a larger site, Premier Colin Barnett has confirmed.

Asked about plans to move the zoo from its current site in South Perth, Mr Barnett revealed "preliminary work" had been done on finding a potential new home for the zoo's larger animals.

"The point that has been raised that large animals around the world are tending to being put in open-range zoos," Mr Barnett said.

"Only some preliminary work has been done, and I know the zoo board is interested in doing that.

"There is some possibility that would happen, but not a decision for the near future."

The 41-acre site, which was opened in 1898, currently houses more than 1200 animals and 160 species, including African lions, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, Grant's zebras and southern white rhinoceroses.