An urgent update from Taronga's CEO

Dear Taronga Supporter

For months now, fires have been raging across our beloved country. The impact on families, their homes, our forests and our wildlife has been devastating and heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to all those affected.

These fires, combined with the ongoing long-term drought, have decimated already fragile animal populations.

While it is too soon to know the exact scale of the impact to Australian wildlife, the number of animals believed to have perished as a result of these catastrophic conditions is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.

Throughout this crisis, Taronga has been involved in a number of emergency response operations, helping to save wildlife from the devastation of these bushfires and droughts by providing emergency shelter, medical care and rehabilitation for koalas, platypus, wallabies, bats and critically endangered frogs and fish.

With support from the wider community, Taronga’s vets, vet nurses and zoo keepers have worked tirelessly over the Christmas and New Year period to give these animals a fighting chance. 

We have had an unprecedented number of injured animals admitted to our wildlife hospitals, impacted by bushfires, heat stress and drought. Taronga is currently caring for platypus rescued from drought affected areas, and koalas rescued from the Blue Mountains by our partner Science for Wildlife, all of which will be released when it safe for them to be returned to the wild.

Taronga will continue this critical work over the coming weeks and months, and our teams remain on standby, ready to respond. Taronga is working proactively with partners and government agencies on what must be done in the aftermath of this crisis to ensure that wildlife will once again flourish both here in NSW and across the country. 

In November we launched our Koala Emergency Appeal to support Taronga’s immediate and long-term strategy to ensure the ongoing survival of Koalas in the wake of this crisis. To those of you who have already so generously supported this appeal – thank you so much. Your contributions have been – and will continue to be – critical in safeguarding the survival of this national icon.

A couple of months on, with a better understanding of the full scale of the devastation caused by these bushfires and the ongoing impacts of the drought, it has become clear that our response will need to be bigger, broader and able to provide care and support for the much wider range of Australian species who now find themselves in crisis. For those that would still like to help you can donate here.

There is much to be done, but with Taronga’s drive and expertise and your ongoing support, I remain hopeful that together we can ensure that Australian wildlife has a fighting chance.

Thank you for supporting Taronga and our partners in this critical time.