CINCINNATI, OH (February 3, 2020) – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is excited to announce that it will send $207,607 to Zoos Victoria to help care for koalas, kangaroos and other animals that are suffering as a result of bushfires raging through their homes. The funds raised include private donations, a $5K donation from the Zoo and, primarily, proceeds from the sale of a Cincy Shirts t-shirt designed by local artist Loren Long, featuring the Zoo’s famous hippo Fiona and her friends down under.
“The response was overwhelming. People wanted to help, and purchasing a shirt was an easy way to contribute and show support for our friends in Australia,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “We are thrilled that Fiona’s popularity helped us raise almost a quarter of a million dollars in just two weeks!”
This recent video from Zoos Victoria shows what they’re doing for injured wildlife. Thanks to the generosity of Cincinnatians and others who bought shirts or donated, they will be able to keep doing it.
“There are still about 30 fires in national parks and we have 4 weeks of fire season to go,” said Dr. Jenny Gray, executive director Zoos Victoria. “It is incredible to see the care that the injured animals need. If their hands are injured, they cannot pull food towards themselves, so we literally have volunteers hand feeding them leaves. Our next focus is on salvage and recovery of species impacted by the fires. We are working on removing endangered birds ahead of fires and will most certainly need to create a larger facility for frogs. I also anticipate that we will need to expand our ability to hold injured animals and our emergency capability and equipment.”