Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Actions of Hope

Today is World Rhino Day and all around the world, in the face of the poaching crisis devastating the world’s Rhinos, people are taking action.

Our colleagues at Zoo Dvur in the Czech Republic today are burning their stockpile of rhino horn (www.burnhorns.org/en/) . They’re joining other zoos at Port Lympne, Howletts Wild Animal Park, Zoo de Doue-la-Fontaine, Zoo Wroclaw, Zoo Bratislava and Zoo Plzen.

This is a powerful symbolic gesture that says people who really care about wildlife have had enough.

I think the difference this year is that world zoos and people who support conservation are doing things that amplify what our fellow zoos are doing in Europe.

At Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia, we’re breeding Black Rhinos and White Rhinos as part of our contribution to the International Rhino Foundation’s efforts to save the five remaining species of rhino. A Black Rhino cow is pregnant with a calf due next year.

Our vets are supporting Indonesian authorities’ efforts for the endangered Sumatran Rhino.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Reproductive Centre was the first in the world to produce a Black Rhinoceros embryo by IVF, working with Berlin’s Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Our powerful Wildlife Witness App, develop by the Zoo with the help of a Vodaphone Foundation grant is at the forefront of the global battle against wildlife trafficking. You can download it free at: itunes.apple.com/us/app/wildlife-witness/id738897823?mt=8.

It enables people to safely report on suspected wildlife trafficking to TRAFFIC South East Asia, the organisation which is coordinating the fight against this massive global crime.

Taronga’s Conservation Field Grants program has already supported work with Greater One-horned Rhinoceros through the Asian Rhino Project. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is also working with a breeding pair of these animals. The Zoos are also working with the Australian Rhino Project which is planning moving African rhino species to safe environments.

All these projects are globally and regionally coordinated, and supported by our Zoo visitors and our community’s contribution to our efforts.

What this means is that you can make a difference by very simple actions. Choose products that do not impact on wildlife, like sustainably harvested timber or sustainably produced Palm Oil. Download the Wildlife Witness App. Support community projects in countries where wildlife crime occurs. Don’t participate in anything that is not good for wildlife.

These actions will make a difference and future generations will be able to enjoy a sustainable future for people and wildlife. Be For the Wild.

Cameron Kerr

Taronga Director and CEO

IRF Board Member.

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