Recent Australian wildfires have burned stunning images of wildlife and habitat loss into our collective consciousness. Acres of blackened trees devoid of greenery, hundreds of charred wildlife carcasses – primarily koalas and kangaroos, and an endless landscape of scorched and smoldering earth are all that remain of many parts of mainland Australia and Kangaroo Island. The wildfires have delivered a devastating blow to the ecological diversity of a nation.
Fortunately, relief has poured in from around the world including from our own San Diego Zoo Global. This nonprofit conservation organization supports international projects that save species from extinction. They are sending monetary support to Australia to provide immediate rescue and recovery efforts of animals that have survived. They are also supporting researchers in affected areas actively working to save entire threatened species.
San Diego Global Zoo is raising money for these desperate animals to provide them with immediate emergency food, water, and injury rehabilitation, as well as long-term population recovery. The Zoo’s global arm has been working with Australia for nearly 100 years on common wildlife protection goals, but now is intensifying the on-the-groundwork to meet the overwhelming needs of fire ravaged habitats and their wildlife inhabitants.
How to Support and Save Australian Wildlife
You and all friends, patrons, and visitors of the San Diego Zoo are encouraged to participate in these direct emergency actions by donating to the Zoo’s fundraising efforts at endextinction.org/help.
By donating through San Diego Zoo Global, you are assured that your dollars are going to researchers and animal care providers who have a long history of working in Australia and know firsthand what is needed most, and where, during rescue and recovery efforts. San Diego Zoo Global takes a scientific approach to both immediate and long-term needs providing aid and expertise during this crisis.
If it isn’t possible to donate or visit the zoo, San Diego Zoo invites you to visit “Animals and Plants of Australia” on their website to educate yourself about the wide variety of wildlife, trees, and plants being threatened by the fires. You’ll find complete descriptions and photos of 80 Australian species, some that are at the Zoo or Safari Park, and others that are not.
Australian Wildlife at the San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo is one of the city’s top five tourist attractions, receiving more than 4 million visitors last year. Combine that with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and that number rises to 5.1 million visitors.
You can watch the courtship of gorgeous Australian Raggiana birds of paradise in the San Diego Zoo’s aviary in the Lost Forest, or discover laughing kookaburras in the Zoo’s Australian Outback. The Zoo’s Outback exhibit also includes a colony of over 20 cuddly koalas where you can watch them curled around tree branches eating eucalyptus leaves or napping on a perch. You’ll be happy to know that funds from the Zoo’s Koala Loan Program are donated to Australia’s koala habitat conservation effort.
You can learn more about koalas inside Queenslander House that overlooks the colony, including how keepers prepare koala meals from eucalyptus. You’ll also discover cockatoos, Tasmanian devils, and wombats in the Outback exhibit.
Walkabout Australia at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The new $17.4 million Walkabout Australia exhibit sits on over three acres at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in North County. You walk barrier-free exhibit paths throughout that allow you to see red-necked wallabies, western gray kangaroos, agile tree kangaroos, regal southern cassowaries, and other animals and plants up close. Although you can’t wander off the paths, there is nothing preventing the animals from approaching you.
Get to know these creatures to better understand the devastating losses in Australia and appreciate the ongoing global efforts to save them.
Grab Your San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Discounts
The pay-one-price Go San Diego Card that gets you into 48 tourist attractions with savings of up to 50% is the best way to enjoy San Diego’s biggest attractions and best museums. This money-saving card gets you discounted prices at both the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park as well as many other fun-filled attractions.