San Diego Zoo raises $500K for Australian bushfire relief efforts

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An orphaned koala joey is nestled in a pouch, sewn for it by a volunteer of the Animal Rescue Craft Guild.

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SAN DIEGO — In the last week, San Diego Zoo Global has raised more than a half-million dollars for Australian wildlife relief as devastating bushfires continue to rip through the continent.

The number includes the money raised through ticket sales on Sunday, and on-site donations from members, staff and volunteers who came to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido to donate money in person and online.

On top of monetary donations, researchers from the zoo have also traveled to Sydney to help save koalas there.

“We are overwhelmed by the support that this initiative has received from our audiences, and inspired that so many people want to join us in saving Australian wildlife,” said Paul Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global.

The fires have burned about 18 million acres to date and continue burning throughout Australia.

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