Sunday Attendance at San Diego Zoo, Safari Park Supports Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts Amid Fires

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A rescue worker with San Diego Zoo Global cradles a koala threatened by Australia’s wildfires in this undated photo provided by the nonprofit.

A rescue worker with San Diego Zoo Global cradles a koala threatened by Australia’s wildfires in this undated photo provided by the nonprofit.

San Diego Zoo Global said Friday it will donate an amount of money to Australia wildlife relief efforts equal to that spent on admission Sunday to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, according to KTLA sister station KSWB in San Diego.

The organization said the donation was an effort to both support relief efforts as fires continue tearing across Australia and encourage park visitors to become part of the process.

“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,” President and CEO Paul A. Baribault with San Diego Zoo Global said.

The nonprofit has worked with researchers, conservationists and government officials on wildlife conservation efforts since 1923. As Australia’s raging bushfires destroy habitats and threaten billions of animals — millions of whom researchers estimate have already been killed — researchers with San Diego Zoo Global are traveling to places like the Blue Mountains near Sydney to rescue wildlife.

“We have been devastated by the magnitude of the environmental crisis that is occurring in Australia,” Chief Life Sciences Officer Bob Wiese, Ph.D., said. “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.”

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