Czechs help koalas and corroboree frogs

News

11. 02. 2020


Twenty million crowns. That’s the amount collected in just one month during the collection organised by Prague Zoo for the Australian animals affected by the devastating fires. The money now helps injured koalas or kangaroos. In the coming months, the money will also contribute to rescuing all those animal species that, due to the present fires, are right on the very edge of existence.

Since Thursday Katerina Seemannova, a Prague Zoo keeper, has also been helping with caring for koalas affected by the fires at the Healesville Sanctuary in Australia. The picture shows an orphan, Micky, who had to have his burnt paws bandaged. Photo: Jiří Bálek, Prague Zoo Since Thursday Katerina Seemannova, a Prague Zoo keeper, has also been helping with caring for koalas affected by the fires at the Healesville Sanctuary in Australia. The picture shows an orphan, Micky, who had to have his burnt paws bandaged. Photo: Jiří Bálek, Prague Zoo

“A big thank you goes out to all those who contributed to our collection. I am grateful to the donors that they are willing to finance the help for wild animals and also that they show such trust in our zoo,” said Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo’s director, pointing out that although there was a donation of CZK 1,000,000, the overall sum of CZK 20,000,000 came from 17,000 donors. “We are grateful for every ten-crown piece, but I was particularly heartened by all the classes or even entire schools that organised various benefit events so that they could also contribute.”

Two weeks ago, Zoos Victoria was the first to be supported by one hundred thousand Australian dollars (about CZK 1,600,000) from the collection account. Further hundreds of thousands of dollars went to Adelaide Zoo and Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, Mt Rothwell and WIRES. Not only will it be used to immediately help those animals affected, but also for monitoring endangered species and to protect them against other fires or against introduced predators.

“On Kangaroo Island alone they have preserved the Kangaroo Island dunnart. The last surviving population is numbered in the hundreds and the fires posed a very serious threat to them. In addition, Rosenberg’s monitors, Kangaroo Island echidnas or southern brown bandicoots have also been saved,” said Jaroslav Šimek, Prague Zoo’s Deputy.

Prague Zoo will also use the collection to support the rescue of the remarkable corroboree frog or brush-tailed rock-wallabies.

The fires in Australia affected not only marsupials or birds, but also other groups of animals, such as this small frog with a big story, the corroboree frog. There were roughly fifty individuals living in the wild, what is left of this wild population after the fires is unknown. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooThe fires in Australia affected not only marsupials or birds, but also other groups of animals, such as this small frog with a big story, the corroboree frog. There were roughly fifty individuals living in the wild, what is left of this wild population after the fires is unknown. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

“Corroboree frogs may not be able to compete with koalas in the cuteness stakes, but they are exceptional in many ways and, unfortunately, critically endangered,” says Miroslav Bobek. “They only live in the Mt Kosciuszko area, with only fifty of them living in the wild before the fire. However, the breeding facilities intended to strengthen this wild population were destroyed in the fire. That is why we agreed with Jenny Grey, the director of Zoos Victoria, to fund its rebuilding today.”

One of Prague Zoo’s keepers, Kateřina Seemannová, is also taking care of injured koalas at Zoos Victoria - specifically in the Healesville Sanctuary.

“Our Australian colleagues are really appreciative of Czech support,” says Irena Valášková, head of Prague Zoo’s Department for In-situ Projects. “They think it is truly extraordinary and send their heartfelt thanks to everyone who helps them by means of us.”

How to join us

Account number: 43-6804660247
Bank code: 0100
IBAN No.: CZ2401000000436804660247
SWIFT/BIC: KOMBCZPPXXX
Account name: ZOOLOGICKÁ ZAHRADA – POMÁHÁME JIM PŘEŽÍT
Bank name: Komerční banka a.s.
Bank address: Na Příkopě 33 č.p. 969, Praha 1, 114 07
Beneficiary name: Zoologická zahrada hl. m. Prahy
Beneficiary address: U Trojského zámku 120/3, Praha 7, 171 00
Variable symbol: 12020
Comment for recipient: Australia
 

The money that people send through Prague Zoo to help Australian animals helps, for example, at this veterinary clinic in Melbourne Zoo. Pictured here is Friday’s clinic to treat koalas from the Mallacoota area, which suffered paw burns and eye injuries during the fire. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooThe money that people send through Prague Zoo to help Australian animals helps, for example, at this veterinary clinic in Melbourne Zoo. Pictured here is Friday’s clinic to treat koalas from the Mallacoota area, which suffered paw burns and eye injuries during the fire. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo