Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Zoo Parent

I have a "50 Before 50" list.  #10 on that list says "Adopt an animal at Taronga Zoo".  I love zoos, but I will admit that the animal lover in me can get a little sad worrying about the life and treatment of animals in a cage for human beings' enjoyment.  What I LOVE and admire at Taronga Zoo is they are hugely supportive and actively involved in animal health, conservation, education, breeding, and research.

I took this while standing on the ferry dock at Taronga Zoo

It takes less time adopting an animal that it does ordering a pizza online.  Why haven't I done this before? 

Before visiting the "Adopt-an-Animal page" on Taronga's website, I read about Taronga's breeding programs.  I chose to adopt the Tasmanian Devil after reading that these guys and gals are "disappearing at an alarming rate" and knowing they are a unique animal native to Australia.  After reading about the "Devil Facial Tumor Disease" that has infected approximately 60% of this animal's total population, I wanted to support Taronga's breeding program to combat the decline of this animal as it hit "endangered species" status.

photo source

I received this in an email conservation: 
Thank you for supporting Taronga by adopting an animal through the Zoo Parent program. Funds raised by Zoo Parent help to support Taronga's work in conservation, education and research projects here in Australia and overseas. Most importantly, they help us to help provide the best possible care for all the animals here at Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos. Welcome to the Zoo Parent family.
Animal: Tasmanian Devils

Again, why haven't I done this before?

I urge you to research your local zoo (if you have one where you live).  Or any animal rescue, animal hospital, wildlife care center.  Take a look to see if they have something in place that is this easy to contribute to the health and care of our furry (or scaly or feathered) friends. 

A "50 Before 50" activity:

Do you like zoos?  Do you have a favorite to visit?


  1. So cute!
    I'm never sure how I feel about zoos. On the one hand I feel sorry for the animals shut up in cages, but then like you say lots of them do important conservation work. And at least the animals in the zoo still exist! There are species that the entire wild population has gone, so without zoos... no more of that animal :-(

    Years ago my uncle adopted a pod of dolphins for me via the WWF. My sister got a tiger. I should look into doing something like that again.

  2. What an awesome idea! Looking into some in my area today!

  3. Congrats! We supported the exact same program :) I think there are zoos and zoos- keeping animals for entertainment is never ok and is a drain on wild stocks. But zoos like that are relatively rare now and most are focused on conservation and providing a refuge for animals whose wild habitat no longer exists or is under threat. Anyway I could talk about this for ages (studied it at university) so I'll spare you!

  4. The facial tumors are terrifying because (as far as I understand it) it's the first recorded instance of contagious cancer! I'm glad you knocked an item off your 50 by 50 list and I'm also glad it was a positive experience! Zoos have me pretty conflicted - I've said a few times that I'm not going to go to them anymore, but I always crack.

  5. I like this list item :) I'm always skeptical of zoos, too, but it sounds like Taronga has a pretty great program! I need to find a local wildlife place where I can "adopt" a fox :)

  6. I love everything about this. every. thing. tasmanian devils! i had no idea. i am the same way about zoos, i mean look at where i live - sea world capital. no comment there. but i'm sure we have the same viewpoints. i'm def going to look into it!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  7. Those little buggers are stinkin cute!! I had no idea. I love what you did, I wonder the same things about zoos but the fact is that if those particular animals weren't in a zoo, they'd be dead. So there's that. As long as it's a good zoo, I'm okay with it.

  8. I love this! I should look into it. We have a free zoo in Madison (which is about two hours away) so I would love to put my money towards an animal there. I also wanted to adopt another animal - a UW-Madison marching band member but my husband wouldn't let me. Tee hee!

  9. This is really cool! I am all in favor of zoos that have spacious & natural habitats and that support conservation, health, education, etc. I'm from San Diego originally and visit frequently so the SD Zoo is one of my favorite places. I should look into this!

  10. That's so awesome, Erin. Those little Tasmanian Devils are freaking adorable. Way cuter than the cartoon version! :) But I am sorry to hear they are now endangered species. I need to look into something like this. There is a big cat sanctuary near LA that I'd love to support. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Love this! You're an amazing woman, Erin. Keep inspiring. XOX

  12. Zoos always make me sad too, but if they help with conservation efforts, I feel a little bit better about it. The San Diego Zoo is really into conservation efforts as well. I love that you adopted a Tasmanian Devil! They're so cute, but it's so sad that they're disappearing so quickly!

  13. this is so awesome Erin. i had no idea you could do this, or that Taronga was a good zoo like that. i'm weary of zoos as well. but this is seriously fabulous.


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