Platypus explores new habitat
An Australian platypus explores its habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Image from zoo video

As part of San Diego Zoo Global’s effort to save species at risk from the Australian wildfires, the organization has pledged to contribute an amount equal to the money raised in Sunday’s admissions to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

The move is a way to engage and include all guests in what the organization said will be a “long-term conservation need” to recover wildlife populations.

“San Diego Zoo Global is a nonprofit wildlife conservation organization, so the money we raise at our parks every day goes back into our mission to save species,”  said Paul A. Baribault, president and CEO, San Diego Zoo Global. “Sunday’s effort is not just about fundraising, but also gives our audience an additional opportunity to be included in the effort to save Australian wildlife.”

San Diego Zoo Global has been working in collaboration with government officials and conservationists in the field to study and conserve Australian wildlife since 1923. The historic involvement with these species makes this current crisis particularly heartbreaking for officials with the organization.

“We have been devastated by the magnitude of the environmental crisis that is occurring in Australia,” said Bob Wiese, chief life sciences officer at San Diego Zoo Global. “We recognize that we will need to amplify our efforts and prepare for a long-term commitment in order to effectively recover the species that have been placed at risk.”

Record-breaking high temperatures and severe drought have fueled a series of wildfires that have been raging in Australia for several weeks. More than 15 million acres have been affected so far, with wildfires joining together in some areas to create mega-fire events.

In response to the threat facing wildlife and habitats in Australia, San Diego Zoo Global has begun a fundraising campaign to support recovery of koalas, platypuses and other species. For more information, and to support these efforts, visit EndExtinction.org/Help.

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