On the surface, a visit to the Zoo is simply great family day out.
It’s a chance to roam the beautiful botanical gardens while admiring some of the world’s most special animals up close.
It’s getting to stand eye-to-eye with our giraffes, watching a lioness bask in the sun or seeing a mob of meerkats playfully wrestling.
But scratch that surface just a little and you’ll find your visit funds so much more than what you see within out gates.
Did you know?
Our expert staff travel internationally to take part in ground-breaking field work – feet deep in mud, the hot sun beating down while frantically counting endangered frogs to survey how they adapt in a warming climate.
Our veterinary department perform life-saving surgeries that give rescued animals – including waterbirds trapped in fishing line or turtles who ingested fishing hooks – a second chance at life.
Our studbook keepers coordinate international breeding programs that help bring new, genetically diverse offspring into the world to build insurance populations as we race against the clock to beat extinction.
We do all this and more while providing gold standard health and husbandry care to more than 1500 resident animals and offering a top-notch visitor experience.
Much of the conservation work happens behind the scenes, so you might not see it when you come to Perth Zoo. But trust us, all the work we do to save wildlife starts with your visit.
BREED TO RELEASE
When it comes to bolstering populations of endangered species, we will not stop fighting the good fight.
In past financial year alone, we have released 5 numbats, 40 white-bellied frogs, 36 dibblers and 40 orange-bellied frogs back into safe wild habitat – all species that are considered endangered or critically endangered.
And just this week, we released a record-breaking 191 critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoises have been released into wild habitat throughout WA.
Let’s just put that number into perspective.
With only an estimated 200 Western Swamp Tortoises left in the wild, a release of nearly 200 means we could have potentially doubled the population.
And this is an endangered species that was literally once considered extinct – but not on our watch!
Behind the scenes, our Native Species Breeding Program teams are working daily on programs that continue to bring these endangered animals into the world.
With this work we give the animals the best chance at life in the wild. And in turn, this gives the species the best chance at beating extinction.
Our teams care about animals. It’s as simple as that.
And that means keepers or veterinary teams are called into action outside of the regular 9-5 workday.
Our vet department often get requests to help wild animals that are in need of medical care, specialist surgery or expert rehabilitation.
But as many of these patients are wild animals, they don’t have any owners who can foot the medical bill. So, we absorb the costs associated with all treatment.
This past year, we packed up our vet van and headed out to the devastating Wooroloo fires to help fire-ravaged native animals that needed emergency treatment.
We rushed to the Swan River to provide clinical assessment and care to two dolphin entanglement cases with our counterparts at the Parks and Wildlife Service.
And of course, we provided care to hundreds of native wild animals that have been brought into our hospitals from rescue groups.
Last year alone, we assessed and treated eight juvenile loggerhead turtles, more than 226 wild black cockatoos and several native mammals and reptiles rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Just to name a few.
Sadly, some animals that come into our hospital have injuries that aren’t compatible with life, but we help to make their end-of-life transition as peaceful and painless as possible.
In good news, we treated and rehabilitated 99 black cockatoos and released them back into the wild with a new lease on life.
These individuals we save matter. They really matter. Particularly when species are disappearing at an alarming rate right before our eyes.
Let’s use the beloved Carnaby’s Cockatoo as an example. While it’s difficult to measure exactly how many are left in the wild, it is known that the population has declined by more than 50 per cent in the past 45 years.
That means each and every individual cockatoo that we save makes a big difference to the future of the species, we simply cannot afford to lose anymore.
The work done in our hospital is costly and takes loads of our time and specialist equipment, not to mention the emotional labor, but it needs to be done.
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU
Yes, on the surface a visit to the Zoo is simply a family fun day out. But scratch the surface and you can see Perth Zoo is much more than that.
Next time you come through the gates, take a second to pat yourself on the back.
Your family day out may have paid for the life-saving medical care for a wild endangered cockatoo.
It may have funded the construction of release of a cohort of critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoises.
Or it may have even contributed to the development of a ground-breaking welfare program that sees animals around the world enjoying increasingly better standards of welfare.
A trip to the Zoo can, quite literally be life changing and lifesaving! So come and visit –because we can’t change the world with out you.
You can stand with us on the frontline of wildlife conservation. With your support we can do more – more research, more conservation work, more rehabilitation and more medical care for wildlife.
Together we will save wildlife. Donate here.