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Local school student Tanna Nankivell visited the Zoo to present a $1500 cheque to the Taronga Foundation following her school’s efforts to raise awareness and funds for Sumatran Tigers.

Tanna is a year six student at Wahroonga Adventist School, backed the Zoo’s ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign and raised the $1,500 for a Zoo Parent sponsorship of Taronga’s male tiger ‘Satu’ and female ‘Jumilah’.

Tanna and her family meet with Carnivore Keeper Justine Powell recently to present the cheque and hand over 170 signed petition postcards supporting the “Don’t Palm Us Off” campaign. The conservation campaign calls for Food Standards Australia New Zealand to legislate labelling of palm oil in all food products to save vital animal habitat.

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Zoo Parent Coordinator, Christina Palmer, said: “Tanna went to astronomical effort to focus her community’s attention and raise funds for the plight of Sumatran Tiger,”

“Just over a year ago Tanna contacted the Zoo to find out what she could do to help. She decided that she’d need the help of her fellow students to lend a hand and got her entire school to dress in black and orange and make a gold coin donation.”

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As part of Tanna’s visit to the Zoo last week, she and her family were treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the carnivore exhibits and assisted Carnivore Keepers with an enrichment scatter feed for the tigers.

Tanna said: “I’m very proud that I’ve made an important contribution in helping the Zoo’s conservation work. My school is now a Zoo Parent to Taronga’s Sumatran Tigers, but we’ve also helped animals whose wild habitat is threatened by unsustainable palm oil plantations,”

“I know my school really enjoyed ‘Black and Orange Day’ and we’ve all learnt a lot about tigers and what we can do to help this endangered species.”

Tanna and her Tiger Committee held a cupcake stall and sold tiger-themed merchandise which they had designed and made including bookmarks, bandanas, tiger stress balls and even had a ‘Tiger Hairstyle’ stand offering students a tiger hairdo.

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“It was a spectacular sight to see how Tanna has got her community involved in raising awareness. Even the parents and teachers were dressed in black and orange with tiger face painting too,” said Christina.

Zoo Parent is the Taronga Conservation Society Australia’s animal sponsorship program where individuals, families, clubs, groups, schools and organisations can sponsor their favourite animal by becoming a Zoo Parent.

Most sponsorships are 100% tax deductible and Zoo Parents receive a personalised sponsorship certificate, information about their animal, a quarterly colour magazine and monthly e-newsletter all about what is happening in our Zoos. For further information visit www.taronga.org.au/zooparent or call 1300 369 116.

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