You might be wondering why I'm writing about a wildlife park on a website that is predominantly about skincare, but there is a link - so bear with me.
Firstly - a few weeks ago I wrote a blog condemning Palm Oil and how to avoid it. Global Palm Oil production puts pressure on wildlife by destroying their habitat. Parks like Orana Wildlife Park and other zoos around the world play a really important conservation and education role for the survival of these endangered animals.
Most councils in New Zealand support their Zoos, realising the importance of conservation of not only global species but also NZ species. The Zoos/Parks attract visitors from out of town, provide lots of education programs for schools and play a really important role. We all prefer animals to be in the wild, but the truth is, humans are a horrible lot and do so much harm that zoo's are now some of the only places to see animals that have gone extinct in the wild.
It was with absolute horror that I read that Christchurch City Councils refused to support Orana Wildlife Park in their current round of funding and in the past five years they have only been given $350,000. In comparison, Wellington Zoo got $5.9m of funding for 20/21 year and Auckland Zoo got $12m in the last 2 years.
Orana Wildlife Park is the only open Zoo in New Zealand so provides a unique experience to the visitor. It has recently opened an Otter enclosure, and on Monday broke ground on a $1.4M White Rhino Conservation Centre, which is part of a global effort to help save rhinos from extinction.
I was so furious with the Christchurch Council, I immediately emailed Orana Park and even though I'm a teeny weeny tiny business, offered 50 free Natural Lip balms that they can sell in their shop to help raise money. I challenge other businesses to do the same to help out this vital park that all Cantabrians, indeed all South Islanders should be proud of.
I dropped them in yesterday - so please, go in to the park, see the Otters, the Silverback Gorillas, the beautiful Cheetahs, the wild dogs and meercats. It's really worth it and while you are there - buy one of our Lip Balms and support the park. If you can't get there - please head to Orana Parks website and hit the donate button. You'll be doing the world of good to these endangered species.
Stuff article about funding rejection.