Zoos aid in conservation emergencies


The ZAA Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCF) is the public fund of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA). The combined effect of zoos and aquariums can have an increased impact on safeguarding wildlife and their habitats and the WCF is committed to enabling this.


Over the last year, ZAA has activated the WCF to respond to two conservation emergencies appealing for urgent funds. A range of ZAA-accredited zoos answered this call to help thousands of flamingo chicks and radiated tortoises in need. The funds were greatly appreciated, and we pleased to provide an update on both situations.


Lesser flamingo appeal


In January 2019, the flamingos of Kimberley’s Kamfers Dam in South Africa faced the worst possible disaster when drought and infrastructure problems forced the flamingo parents from their purpose-built island, away from their unhatched eggs and hatchlings. The chicks were abandoned and left to die of dehydration and starvation.


Zoos and aquariums from around the world rushed veterinarians, experienced aviculturists, and vital funding to support the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 1,800 lesser flamingo chicks that were abandoned in their nesting grounds in South Africa.


Through the ZAA Wildlife Conservation Fund, ZAA-accredited zoos have raised $7,390 AUD for the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA) to work with local experts and academia to develop a recovery plan. Thank you to Currumbin Wildlife SanctuaryWellington Zoo and Zoos Victoria for their support.


In preparation to release the animals back to the wild, a quarantine facility funded by donations has been constructed on Kimberly SPCA property. You can continue to follow their progress online.

Loading video


Radiated tortoise appeal



Turtle Survival Alliance have released a “Confiscation to Reintroduction Strategy” video one year on from the operation to save 10,000 Radiated Tortoises from wildlife traffickers (watch here).

Through the ZAA Wildlife Conservation Fund and direct donations, members raised over $30,000 AUD for the Turtle Survival Alliance.

Thank you to Auckland ZooCurrumbin Wildlife SanctuaryNational Zoo and AquariumNorth Queensland Wildlife TrustOakvale Wildlife ParkTaronga ZooWellington ZooZoos South AustraliaZoos Victoria and the Rockhampton Zoo staff, all of whom contributed.