Zoos Celebrate World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day is a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the planet’s wild animals and plants. Here are few ways ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums used this special day to highlight some of the incredible species they work with.

SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium commemorated the day by releasing an unusual hybrid sea turtle named Iluka, which means 'by the sea' in the Bundjalong language, to Mon Repos Turtle Conservation park.

Iluka has the carapace colour and head of a loggerhead turtle but the underside of a flatback turtle. He arrived at the Aquarium in February 2020 as part of a research study in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Science to understand how hybrid turtles develop in order to help with identification of these turtles in the wild. According to Brittany Attwood, Veterinary Nurse at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, the team has grown very fond of Iluka during his stay and it was bittersweet to say goodbye.

“I have loved working with Iluka and watching him grow and develop over the past 12 months. He came to us as a tiny hatchling and is now over 32cm long. Iluka is quite a cheeky little turtle and absolutely loves his food.”

Iluka enjoys a treat on his birthday.

Numbat, Perth Zoo

Tree Kangaroo, National Zoo & Aquarium.

Since the 1990’s, Perth Zoo has bred and released over 900 dibblers and more than 200 endangered numbats. And it’s not just the cute and fluffy - they are the only zoo breeding critically endangered white-bellied frogs and they rehabilitate approximately 300 black cockatoos every year. Check out their video highlighting how Perth Zoo is securing a future for wildlife.

In honor of the 2021 World Wildlife Day theme, Forest and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet, the National Zoo & Aquarium hosted a fundraiser with Tree Roo Rescue and Conservation on 19 March. The event, Sensations of the World, raised funds for tree kangaroo initiatives and educational programs.

Tree Kangaroos are one of world’s most unique, but endangered mammals on the planet! Unfortunately, they are facing extinction due to habitat loss, over hunting and human encroachment. With so many species facing extinction, the National Zoo and Aquarium is dedicated to helping fight the battle on extinction.