Across the nation’s bushfire-affected areas, it is estimated that as many as 500 million animals, including critically endangered species, have perished in the bushfires.
Perth Zoo’s Australian Fauna Supervisor, Stephen Catwell, said: “As a zoo-based conservation organisation Perth Zoo is devastated by the impact the bushfires have had on Australian wildlife and their habitats.”
“The full impact is impossible to determine at this early stage, but what we do know is that the road to recovery will be a long and costly one. Many of our zoo colleagues living near fire affected areas are treating an overwhelming number of native animals requiring both short and long-term support.”
“The news of the unprecedented wildlife injury and loss of lives has heavily affected our zoo community, zoo members, visitors and staff.”
“Our local community have been asking Perth Zoo how they can help,” said Stephen.
“Saving wildlife is a top priority for us. That’s why we are joining with our Zoo colleagues around Australia to make a difference.”
During the school holiday period (1 January - 2 February), monies from Perth Zoo’s special Australian animal encounters, Bush Buddies, Scaly Mates and encounters with our dingos, will be donated to the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) emergency wildlife appeal.
Funds will assist in these priority areas:
- Rescue and rehabilitation of drought and fire-affected Australian native wildlife, with the specific goal of returning healthy rehabilitated animals back to the wild;
- Restoration, rehabilitation and ongoing care and resilience improvement of drought and fire-affected Australian native habitats;
- Science and research geared toward reassessing species status, habitat regeneration and other science-related projects
In addition to this, Perth Zoo is donating medical supplies, including bandages and wound dressings, to the emergency animal response effort.
For more information or to book an animal encounter to help animal bushfire victims, please visit www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au/close-encounters
Article Photo Credit: Matt Abbott