L.A. Zoo Launches Effort to Raise Awareness and Funds for Wildlife Impacted by Australian Drought and Bushfires

Australian Drought and Bushfire Response

We’ve launched our Australian Bushfire Relief fund to raise awareness and donations to benefit wildlife and wild habitats affected by the ongoing crisis in Australia. Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate to the Fund any L.A. Zoo retail shop through February 29
  • Donate at our online fundraising page
  • Spread the word on social media using #AustraliaWildlife and #LAZoo

All funds raised through these efforts will go toward the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund and the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) Wildlife Conservation Fund. Thank you!

Responding to the Australia Bushfires and Other Crises

Bushfires raging for the past six months have resulted in widespread devastation throughout Australia. It is likely that more than a billion animals and more than 12 million acres of habitat have been lost to this continuing crisis. The conservation impacts of this event will be substantial and long-term.

In response, our counterparts at the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) have coordinated efforts based on immediate and foreseeable needs. Their approach includes three phases:

Phase 1 – Placing rescued native animals with appropriate facilities and expert care for treatment, ongoing rehabilitation and preparation to return to the wild.

Phase 2 – Assessing the impacts on wildlife and habitat to understand where rehabilitation efforts are most needed.

Phase 3 – Medium and long-term recovery efforts to return healthy animals to regenerated habitats and revive and sustain populations of wildlife in affected areas.

As we continue to focus and expand our conservation program at the L.A. Zoo, we are critically assessing how we can most effectively contribute to biodiversity conservation, including efforts to mitigate climate change and its effects on wildlife. At this time, we will continue to monitor the emerging needs in Australia as they evolve and evaluate how the L.A. Zoo might contribute critical resources to the long-term recovery efforts. Right now, we can make the biggest impact by:

  • Directing funds to Australian bushfire relief
  • Raising awareness of the crisis, causes, the long-term effects, and the role that zoos play

This disaster highlights the critically important role that zoos play in global conservation efforts today and in the future. The magnitude of these fires and their impacts are directly related to the fact that 2019 was both the hottest and driest year on record in Australia. We know that climate change is increasing the frequency, severity, and unpredictability of environmental disasters around the globe, and climate change is only one of the many significant threats facing us. As a result, species will increasingly go extinct within their native ranges. Our own success with the California condor is proof of the ability of zoos to not only stop a species from going extinct, but to restore self-sustaining populations in the wild. No one predicted that Australia would experience this widespread catastrophe, and, although it is likely to result in the loss of species, those fortunate enough to exist in zoos have a chance to someday recover.

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