Alexandra Park Zoo in QLD welcomed Alby, a male white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), to its reptile population. This species is critically endangered and endemic to the Bundaberg region, providing an opportunity to educate the local community about endangered species right on their doorstep. Alby is the only individual of his species on display in Australasian zoos, so he is an integral part of Alexandra Park Zoo’s conservation message. Alby played a significant role in Bundaberg’s new Milbi festival – an event that celebrates the Bundaberg region’s connection with both marine and freshwater turtles, and Indigenous heritage, through arts and culture.
The National Aquarium of New Zealand connected people with nature through their Penguin of the Year campaign. It’s a fun competition to raise awareness of the smallest species of penguin in the world and was a huge success with over 12,300 votes received over the campaign. Female Little Penguin Draco was winner, with elder Elmo second and resident ‘bad boy’ Mo coming in third. Draco is actually Timmy’s (2018 winner) girlfriend so they’re now the power couple of penguin cove.
The campaign had incredible reach on social media, with worldwide interest from countries such as: Estonia, Israel, Germany, Poland, Chile, England, Brazil and Australia, with the most international votes coming from the United States. It also reached Australian media along with New Zealand national TV and radio, and local news and radio coverage.
Paradise Country’s ‘Save a Mate’ conservation program went global to help raise awareness and much needed funds for not only Australian native wildlife, but also animals around the world, with the launch of the Global Conservation Centre. The first animals to visit the Global Conservation Centre were tiger cubs Maliah and Melah, who spent just over three months at the park educating guests about the threats facing tigers in the wild and helping Paradise Country raise over $40,000 for Fauna & Flora International, an organisation dedicated to protecting threatened wildlife and habitats. The funds will be vital to their ongoing conservation efforts.
Their koala joey Tallow was also officially named Australia’s cutest koala joey in a nationwide search which was run by Tourism Australia. The campaign helped connect thousands with Tallow, building empathy and a personal connection with the plight of koalas.