Press Release – Wellington Zoo
Marking a decade since becoming a charitable trust, Wellington Zoo is thrilled to have reached new levels of success this year. We have had our busiest day ever, our second busiest year ever and have built on our strong foundations to support more broad reaching conservation and community programmes than ever before.
“For the last ten years we’ve exceeded our visitor targets every year, “said Karen Fifield, Wellington Zoo Chief Executive.
“We’re thrilled to have had such an amazing year. We have welcomed 227,434 visitors this year, more than 10,000 visitors, or 5%, ahead of target. This is a testament to the hard work our staff put in to ensure our visitors have a fantastic animal rich experience every time they come to the Zoo.”
Over the past year Wellington Zoo has started supporting four new conservation partners connected to critically endangered animals at the Zoo, extending our conservation impact beyond our boundaries. “Zoos are a major player in species conservation and in nature conservation. Our new partnerships are another great step for us in connecting our community with conservation projects around the world,” said Ms Fifield.
Wellington Zoo was excited to be the first New Zealand Zoo to welcome four Tasmanian Devils in December. “It’s very exciting to have them here – and our visitors just love them,” said Ms Fifield. “The Devils are here as part our partnership with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. The Program is collaborating with research institutes and zoos around the world to ensure the survival of the Tasmanian Devil.”
The new full-time role of Conservation Manager was created to integrate conservation and sustainability across all areas of the Zoo. “This role is critical to expand the conservation and sustainability work of the Zoo,” said Ms Fifield.
With the launch of the Wellington Warehouse Zoofari, 16 low-decile schools were able to come to the Zoo for a learning session free of charge. “The Warehouse partnership is a wonderful project that will make a positive difference to schools that wouldn’t otherwise have access to Zoo-based learning, enabling them to connect with nature,” said Ms Fifield.
This year also saw the start of Nature Connections, a region-wide project looking at ways to connect Wellington’s ecological attractions. “As a lead partner in this new and innovative project, Wellington Zoo is playing an instrumental role in building stronger links between our partners, and enjoying the chance to collaborate with organisations traditionally seen as competitors,” said Ms Fifield.
“We’ve achieved so much in the past year we are looking forward to an even bigger and better 2014/15.”