Jumbo fundraiser hits the jackpot!

Our campaign to raise $2.025 million to bring three Asian Elephants to Monarto Safari Park has been realised in just 28 days!

“We’ve done it. They’re coming!” said a very excited Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA.

“We are blown away by the support of the elephant and conservation-loving community.

“We’ve had over 4,000 donations from all ages and budgets. We’ve had kids handing over their pocket money to some very large donations including the $1 million. Every single one of these donations counts and means so much.

“This project has been propelled by the community’s desire to see the best welfare outcome for the elephants and to get them to South Australia.

“I would like to thank every single person who has donated and helped us so far. I can’t wait for you to see these three beautiful animals at Monarto Safari Park in 2024/25,” finished Elaine.

But while the goal has been reached, Zoos SA is still calling on people to continue fundraising and taking part in the Run Wild event on 21 October.

“While we’ve reached our original goal I want to assure everyone that all funds raised over this amount will still go to the elephants’ project. Any extra money raised now will help Zoos SA to reduce its financing costs for the project and allow us to ensure our efforts remain focussed on the conservation work we undertake.

“We are a private charity so any debt that we can reduce only speeds up the process of paying it off and allowing us to get back to our work to save species from extinction,” finished Elaine.

Burma from Auckland Zoo is continuing to enjoy getting in and out of her crate on a daily basis! While Permai and Putra Mas from Perth Zoo will begin training to get them used to their crates for travel to Monarto Safari Park.

“This is an amazing effort from Zoos South Australia and their incredibly supportive community and of course, excellent news for Burma,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley. “It’s still early days but growing certainty over Burma’s future means we can also start planning for a move some time in the next 12-18 months to a new home who are extremely excited to receive her ”

“We are thrilled to hear that Zoos SA’s fundraising campaign has been successful and Permai and Putra Mas are now a step closer to moving to their forever home,” said Claire Wright, Acting Executive Director, Perth Zoo.

“While Perth Zoo has always provided these Asian Elephants with exemplary love and care, we’ve always been open that they need more space than our South Perth site can provide. This move to an open-range herd structure is best for their welfare and we know Monarto Safari Park will provide an excellent home.

“Our animal experts have meticulously explored options for Permai and Putra Mas, and we couldn’t be happier to see them moving to our neighbouring state of South Australia,” said Claire.

The three Asian Elephants will become founders of a South Australian herd where they will roam at Monarto Safari Park, the largest open-range safari in the region, in a new habitat that meets their complex social structure needs.

“As the project’s first corporate partner, ElectraNet is excited to be partnering with Zoos SA to bring Asian Elephants back to South Australia, at Monarto Safari Park. We look forward to the construction works beginning followed by the arrival of the elephants, to enable Monarto Safari Park visitors to see and learn more about these amazing animals,” said Simon Emms, ElectraNet Chief Executive Officer.

The Run Wild event at Monarto Safari Park will take place on 21 October 2023. The event will see fundraisers run, walk or wheel Monarto Safari Park’s tracks, covering a distance of 3km, 10km, 20km, 40km or a virtual distance.

Thanks to our corporate partner ElectraNet for their support of the Asian Elephants habitat at Monarto Safari Park.

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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