Environment Minister Sussan Ley met with Zoos Victoria staff at Melbourne Zoo today to observe the treatment and care of koalas and other native animals caught in Australia’s devastating bushfire crisis, and to discuss wildlife and habitat recovery planning.
The Morrison Government will provide $1 million in funding to Zoos Victoria for the care and treatment of koalas and other fire-affected animals, and to help establish insurance populations for threatened species.
Minster Ley was accompanied by the Chair of the Melbourne Zoo Board, Kate Vinot, and the Zoo’s Director of Wildlife Conservation and Science, Dr Sally Sherwen, at the Melbourne Zoo Veterinary Hospital.
Minister Ley praised the work being carried out by Melbourne Zoo, and its important role in the Morrison Government’s initial $50 million Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Package.
“Zoos are essential hubs of wildlife expertise, and during natural disasters they provide urgent attention to suffering animals, as well as long term research and recovery strategies for threatened species,” Ms Ley said.
“The bushfires in Victoria have already devastated thousands of hectares of bushland which were home to some of the country’s most iconic species.
“The scale and severity of these fires has been unprecedented, and Melbourne Zoo will be critical to helping our wildlife recover from this ecological tragedy.
“It is inspiring to see the efforts of staff and volunteers at our Zoos and those of everyday Australians who have come together to protect and care for our precious wildlife.”