Dreamworld's big cats help raise $3 million for conservation efforts
Published: 29 July 2017
It’s a rare zoo-goer who doesn’t spare a thought for the wild relatives of the animals on display.
For every elephant, rhino or panda getting regular care and food inside the zoo, there’s many more in the wild at risk of poaching, habitat destruction, or pollution.
That’s particularly the case for tigers – whose numbers have plummeted from 100,000 to just over 3,000 over the past 100 years.
But Tiger Island in Dreamworld is fighting back, using its own eleven tigers as ambassadors to raise money for their struggling cousins.
Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation Director Al Mucci today announced the theme park has raised $3 million for wildlife conservation initiatives, as the Gold Coast park celebrates Global Tiger Day.
Part of the money was raised from Dreamworld’s tiger experiences – such as tiger photo opportunities, private walks and feeds – as well as from other fundraising initiatives.
“Since we started the foundation in 2012, the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation has raised more than $3 million, which is incredible,” Mr Mucci said.
“This money is used to provide support to wildlife conservation initiatives, particularly relating to the ecology and threatened and endangered species on a global scale.”
More than $2 million of the money raised has gone directly to wild tiger conservation programs, such as 21st Century Tiger, Phoenix Fund and Flora and Fauna International, as well as anti-poaching teams.
The designer of the Tiger Island facility, Jamie Durie, said the conservation efforts over the past few years were already having an effect on tiger populations.
“Despite a significant upsurge in tiger poaching in 2016, wild tiger populations have stabilised to about 4,000, which shows that conservation efforts, including initiatives funded by the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation, are making a difference,” he said.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community.”
Dreamworld on the Gold Coast are celebrating Global Tiger Day tonight with a VIP event with a performance by Dreamworld ambassador Guy Sebastian.
Proceeds from the event will go towards tiger conservation programs.