The intense fires that tormented the whole of Australia for several months and had an enormous impact on the environment and local fauna, initiated a strong response and expressions of solidarity from the wider public.
The fires left their mark on more than just the landscape, people and their property, but also on a massive number of animals. According to estimates, roughly 1 billion animals lost their lives in the fires. The south-eastern coast of Australia was affected the most by the fires. The local fauna suffered particularly as a result of the destructive fires.
A public fund to help Australian fauna affected by the fires was set up by Prague Zoo on the 6th January 2020. Just how much interest the fund stirred up among the Czech public far outweighed expectations and in less than a week over 2000 donators contributed more than 1.5 million Czech crowns. Czech citizens kept that pace up throughout the next month and as of the 8th February the total sum raised hit 20 million Czech crowns. The fund, which was initiated on the 6th January is still collecting donations.
“It is wonderful that the Czech government was able to financially help Australia during the fires. That being said, the interest shown by the Czech public in the fund to rescue Australian fauna, initiated by the Director of Prague Zoo, Mr Bobek, really moved me. Australia is far away and the amount raised, which keeps rising, brings me great joy because it is directly from our people from the other side of the planet,” stated the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Australia, Tomáš Dub.
Thanks to Czech citizens and Zoo Prague’s fund, Australia will receive a huge amount of aid.
Funds are already flowing to Victoria and South Australia and Zoo Prague is in contact with local authorities in affected areas to work out other areas to send the raised money, that could really use it. The funds are already helping in caring for injured animals, such as koalas, the corroboree frogs and kangaroos. Money raised will also go to rescuing entire species.
At the beginning of February, Czech zookeper from Zoo Prague, Katka Seemannová, was sent to Australia and is currently helping to care for koalas in Healesville Sanctuary in Australia.
More info at: https://www.zoopraha.cz/en