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Taronga and Western Plains Zoos are to be part of the new Taronga Conservation Society Australia formed as a comprehensive approach to the needs of wildlife.

The Zoos' Director and Chief Executive, Guy Cooper, said: "With our many new activities in research, conservation and in situ wildlife projects like the recent Gorilla birth at Taronga and our role in national breeding efforts to save the Tasmanian Devil, we needed a name that better describes our wide ranging activities to our community."

"Because Taronga's name is well-known nationally and internationally, we decided to use it bind both our wonderful zoos to our rapidly expanding efforts for wildlife under one name, the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, as well as introducing the Taronga Western Plains Zoo name."

"This shows our zoos are part of one organisation dedicated to wildlife conservation and the Taronga Conservation Society Australia name is more representative of our new directions.  Our parent name, the Zoological Parks Board of NSW, remains part of our formal structure. The Zoos' logos, together with The Taronga Foundation's logo, have been given a contemporary update with the help of Hulsbosch Communications."

Following extensive community research, the new name was chosen to better represent community expectations of zoos, clarifying the fact that zoos are a vital part of the global response to the extinction emergency facing wildlife today.

Although zoos have emerged as full service organisations for conservation combining breeding, education, wildlife husbandry and staff expertise in one place, this rapid change made it hard for people to understand the range of zoo activities.

One of the first programs of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia will be the announcement of six wildlife conservation projects initiated by Zoo keepers. These include breeding endangered Booroolong Frogs for release and support of endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros in Indonesia.

As well as providing conservation education and direct support opportunities for over 1.5 million visitors annually, Zoo staff are doing everything from breeding endangered Black Rhinoceros to helping release Little Penguins at Manly and providing care for over 1500 injured and orphaned native animals through our Wildlife Hospitals each year.

Mr Cooper said: "All the different things we do, including the Australian Wildlife Health Network, the Wildlife Hospitals, the Animal Gene Storage Resource Centre of Australia, need to be represented under a single umbrella name that better represents the vast diversity of our operations."

"We understand the community's fondness for the Taronga and Western Plains Zoos' names which have been part of the fabric of life in NSW for decades.  Naturally those names are being kept, as are the logos for both zoos which have been updated to make them more contemporary and link with the new Taronga Conservation Society Australia name."

"Our visitors will still visit Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos as always, but now they'll have a clearer understanding of what our modern zoos are about and how their support will have a very positive impact for wildlife across the planet." 

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