San Diego Zoo raises $500,000 to save koalas and other wildlife affected by Australia fires
Jan. 14, 2020
Much of money came from special weekend fundraising effort at the zoo and Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Global’s efforts to help save wildlife from the massive blazes in Australia have so far yielded more than a half-million dollars, thanks in part to a special fundraising campaign Sunday at the zoo and Safari Park.
On Sunday, the zoo made a matching contribution equivalent to the admissions revenues it collected at both parks for the entire day. San Diego Zoo Global reported Tuesday that the $500,000 it is donating to Australia wildlife relief efforts was a combination of money raised from the attendance match, plus online donations and contributions from members, staff and volunteers who came to the zoo and Safari Park to donate money in person.
“We are overwhelmed by the support that this initiative has received from our audiences, and inspired that so many people want to join us in saving Australian wildlife,” said Paul A. Baribault, president of San Diego Zoo Global. “We know that there will be years of work to help ensure that species like koalas and platypuses can recover from the wildfires that have swept that country — and we are extremely grateful to all of the people who have joined us in our effort to help.”
Since the Australian wildfires began in September, they have claimed 27 lives but the toll on wild animals has been far greater. Scientists estimate that to date the raging fires have killed from hundreds of millions to more than 1 billion native animals, according to a Los Angeles Times report on Tuesday.
Kangaroo Island, a wildlife park off Australia’s southeast coast, has seen some of the worst damage, with fires spreading out over nearly half of the 1,700-square-mile island, the Times reported.
San Diego Zoo Global has been working with government officials and conservationists in the field to learn about and conserve Australian wildlife since 1923.