The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been working with conservation partners in Australia to identify ways to best provide support to efforts helping wildlife impacted by the fires. President/CEO Tom Stalf issued the following update:
“Our hearts go out to the people and wildlife of Australia, and we continue to follow the situation closely while remaining in regular communication with our Australian colleagues and wildlife conservation partners. When our conservation partners alert us to emergencies such as these terrible wildfires that threaten their projects and communities, we respond with technical expertise and financial support.
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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium supports over 100 conservation projects worldwide, which includes contributions to conservation of Australian wildlife through our partnership with the San Diego Zoo, and donations to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors. In the dire case involving the bushfires, we have designated $10,000 to date from the Columbus Zoo’s emergency grants fund to donate to Zoos Victoria’s Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.
A broader, collective effort among zoological facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is also underway to support Zoos Victoria. Their director has informed our zoo community that while the fires are currently located a distance away from their zoos, their veterinary teams have been deployed into the fire areas, where they are setting up triage and critical care facilities. Unfortunately, it’s too early to evaluate the totality of the situation as the director has also stated that the actual fire grounds are still too dangerous for people to enter and find injured animals.
However, the Zoos Victoria team is already providing critical care to the many animals brought to them with varying types of injuries. The care will continue for the long-term recovery of Australian wildlife, as even after the fires, surviving animals will likely have little to no food or shelter available to them in their native ranges.
We are extremely grateful for the inquiries we have received from our caring community members who also want to help, and these updates from our partners help us to ensure that our contributions are being made in a responsible manner for our donors, and in a way that will be most effective in making a positive impact during this sad situation.
If you would like to contribute to the Columbus Zoo’s conservation fund to specifically help Australian wildlife affected by the fires, please visit https://give.columbuszoo.org/animalsincrisis. Thank you for your continued support of protecting wildlife and wild places.”