Rockhampton Zoo visitors donate over $30k to wildlife recovery

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A yearlong fundraiser through Rockhampton Zoo has seen a staggering $30,000 donated by zoo-goers to help support wildlife affected by Australia’s 2020 bushfire crisis.

Council today thanked the incredible generosity of those who had made a donation during their visit to the zoo, with the final sum totalling $30,756.10.

Councillor for Parks, Sport and Public Spaces, Cherie Rutherford, said Council was blown away by the fundraiser’s uptake, and said the funds will now support recovery projects of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) Conservation Fund.

“Following the devastating effects of the bushfires in New South Wales and the news of the impact to more than one billion animals, we decided that all donations made at the Zoo for a year would contribute to the ZAA’s Wildlife Conservation Fund,” Cr Rutherford said.

“Donations made previously would go directly to the operation of the Zoo, so this was Council’s and the staff’s way of supporting our native wildlife – contributing 100% of all zoo donations to the ZAA bushfire recovery projects.

“As Rockhampton Zoo is a free zoo, Council redirecting all donations for a 12 month period was a very generous gesture, but we believe saving our Australian wildlife is worth it.

“The support it received by the visitors was absolutely phenomenal- almost double what our usual annual donations are. We know that our zoo-goers have huge hearts and this is just another example of this.”

ZAA Director for Conservation and Population Management, James Biggs, said the team were extremely grateful for the support.

“ZAA is very grateful to Rockhampton Zoo for reaching out and helping us to support the long-term work needed to help our native wildlife recover from the devastating bushfires and drought,” Mr Biggs said.

“The support we receive from donors like Rockhampton Zoo means a lot for the wildlife affected by the 2020 bushfires and drought. The funds went into the ZAA Wildlife Conservation Fund where conservation grants were awarded across multiple drought and bushfire response projects.

“This includes work like wildlife rescue in the Barrington Tops, essential species assessment work in alignment with the Australian Government and IUCN Redlist, breeding programs for affected species like Kyloring (Western ground parrot) and Pookila (New Holland Mouse), and scientific strategies like genetic biobanking for the Booroolong Frog, Northern Corroboree Frog, Southern Corroboree Frog and Spotted Tree Frog.”

Moving forward, Council is continuing their generosity and commitment to conservation by donating 15% of all donations to wildlife conservation projects.

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