National Zoo & Aquarium


The National Zoo & Aquarium is contributing heavily to a large number of breeding programs that can help save a number of animals from extinction. We also raise money through our National Zoo & Aquarium Conservation Trust (NZACT) to donate to a number of local and overseas conservation initiatives and charities.

Monies raised from animal encounters and Jamala Wildlife Lodge support:

  • The National Zoo & Aquarium’s regional breeding and educational programs.
  • Cash donations to animal conservation in the wild and animal welfare programs

Our recent donations include:

  • Snow Leopard Trust $10000
  • Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program $10000
  • RSPCA ACT $5000
  • 21st Century Tiger $10000
  • Red Panda Network $10000
  • Mulligans Flat $5000
  • ACT Wildlife $5000
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund $20000
  • Australian Marine Conservation Society $5000
  • Painted Dog Conservation $10000
  • Free the Bears $10000
  • TRAFFIC $30000 over the past 3 years


NZACT (the National Zoo & Aquarium Conservation Team) is a volunteer organisation that works hand in hand with the National Zoo & Aquarium. These two organisations are working together to save some of the worlds most endangered species from extinction.

NZACT works with the National Zoo & Aquarium to help develop programs for species that are held in captivity and are critically endangered in the wild. This is done through breeding programs and educating zoo visitors about the world and the integral part that these animals play. NZACT assists in the making of and purchase of enrichment toys for the animals at the NZA.

NZACT also works to actively fundraise and regularly donates to a number of local and overseas organisations, including Free the Bears, The Snow Leopard Trust, the RSPCA, 21st Century Tiger and Traffic.

If you would like to join our NZACT and volunteer some of your time to assist us with our fundraising activities, we would love to hear from you.

Please email with your details.


Free the bears

Imagine a beautiful, fluffy bear cub. Image she is stolen from her mother, imprisoned behind steel bars on a concrete floor, surrounded by many others of her kind. She is destined to a short and painful life in the bear trade. She is destined to a life where her paws will be cut off individually and served to people as an edible delicacy. Many countries believe a person who eats bear paws will acquire the strength and vigor of a bear. Now imagine this is not a story but the life of a Malayan Sunbear.

The barbaric activities of bear farming still take place in many Asian countries but only by the minority. The black market and trade in bears for their parts and bile still consumes thousands of bears a year. This particular story has a happy ending.

This story is about a Malayan Sunbear named Otay who was rescued from a life of pain by Free the Bears Fund Incorporated. Otay was one of the lucky ones. In January 2007, 3 year old Otay was rescued by Free the Bears Fund Inc. and taken to one of their sanctuaries before being brought to the National Zoo and Aquarium as part of a cooperative breeding program for the species.

Until the bear trade ends, release into the wild is not an option for these rescued animals, because there is still a high risk of poaching. A male Sunbear from the Wellington Zoo NZ, Arataki, was bought to the National Zoo to be a part of this exciting breeding program.

Click this link to learn more about Free the Bears


Free the bears

Snow leopard trust

These beautiful and amazing animals need our help.

Researchers estimate that there are only about 3000 -7500 snow leopards left in the wild. No one knows exactly because Snow Leopards are elusive and inhabit harsh and remote habitats and are rarely seen. Their numbers are threatened by a number of factors, including poaching, loss of habitat and prey, and hunting by herders in retribution for killing their livestock. They have already disappeared from some areas where they formerly lived, such as parts of Mongolia.

The Snow Leopard Trust is working with governments in snow leopard countries to strengthen conservation policies and programs. Most importantly, the Trust works with local communities and herders on reducing conflict between people and snow leopards. They help find ways of limiting livestock loss, and offer them opportunities to increase their income by helping them market handcrafts in return for a commitment to conservation. Click on this link to view the Trusts philosophy on snow leopard conservation, and read about the programs they have initiated.

Please contact the Zoo or donate below if you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause.



TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is the leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Their current focus includes the illegal trade in Rhino horn, the poaching of Tigers for their parts and habitat loss, the decline in shark and ray numbers due to over fishing and the illegal use of endangered animals for medicine and “bush meat”.

TRAFFIC specialises in:

  • Investigating and analysing wildlife trade trends, patterns, impacts and drivers to provide the leading knowledge base on trade in wild animals and plants
  • Informing, supporting and encouraging action by governments, individually and through inter-governmental cooperation to adopt, implement and enforce effective policies and laws
  • Providing information, encouragement and advice to the private sector on effective approaches to ensure that sourcing of wildlife uses sustainability standards and best practice
  • Developing insight into consumer attitudes and purchasing motivation and guiding the design of effective communication interventions aimed to dissuade purchasing of illicit wildlife goods.



Palm oil

Orangutans are critically endangered. Extinction in the wild is likely to be 2020 for Sumatran Orangutans and soon after for Bornean Orangutans. We need to recognise the massive amount of suffering being inflicted on a species that is 97% genetically identical to humans.

Helpful links:

Facts about Palm Oil
Palm Oil Action Group Australia
Roundtable for sustainable Palm Oil
Australian Orangutan Project

Did you know

  • Today, the most common cause of deforestation and fragmentation in Indonesia is related to palm oil development.
  • An estimated 40% of food on our supermarket shelves contains palm oil.
  • In SE Asia alone, the equivalent of 300 football fields are deforested every hour for palm oil production.
  • Palm oil typically costs the lives of up to 50 Orangutans each week.
  • Australians unknowingly consume on average 10 kilograms of palm oil each year because we do not currently have the ability to exercise consumer choice.
  • Sustainable Palm Oil Plantations are a possibility however you need you to tell FSANZ you want palm oil labeling if they are to become a reality.
  • Once palm oil is labelled, consumers can actually drive a market for proper certified sustainable palm oil because they can demand it of manufacturers (as we’ve seen with Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance products).
  • Palm oil from certified sustainable RSPO sources only accounts for 8 percent of the global supply of palm oil.
  • 90% of Orangutan habitat has been lost already. If all of it is lost so too is the livelihood of many people.
  • The industry needs to increase yields on land that has already been cleared but right now there is very little incentive for them to do this.
  • We share 97% of our DNA with Orangutans. You could say they are our wild cousins.
  • Over 85% of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Most of the palm oil that ends up in our food is harvested through unsustainable processes. In fact, only eight percent of the global supply of palm oil comes from sustainable RSPO certified sources. A sustainable palm oil industry that does not destroy anymore virgin rainforest is a reality. The industry just needs to use land that has already been cleared. But right now there isn’t the demand for palm oil that is produced this way. You have a right to know whether the products you buy contain palm oil.

However, without legislation change, palm oil will remain unlabeled and you won’t know if the food products you are buying are pushing orangutans to extinction.


Palm oil

Mobile phones

Gorillas are on the brink of extinction. They’re calling on YOU to donate your phone today!

You can now help save Gorillas in Africa simply by donating your mobile phone! Coltan is a metallic ore that is mined both in and out of Africa and can be found within many electronic devices such as mobile phones.

The mining of coltan within the Congo River Basin is contributing to forest loss and unrest in the region, and is accelerating the loss of mountain gorillas at an alarmingly fast rate. Whilst efforts are being made to tackle this issue, the majority of the world’s known coltan reserves are found within Africa, and the mining of coltan within gorilla habitat continues.

It is very difficult to know which phones contain coltan mined from Africa, however every phone can help save gorilla’s when donated to They’re Calling on You.

By donating your phone through the They’re Calling on You mobile phone recycling program you are:

  •  Keeping its coltan and other valuable or toxic parts out of Australian landfill
  •  Helping the National Zoo & Aquarium raise money to support primate conservation, and other wildlife conservation projects
  •  Lessening the demand for coltan mining by providing the coltan-coated capacitor in your old mobile phone a second life.

To support the “They’re Calling on You” mobile phone recycling program you can:

  • Visit the National Zoo & Aquarium to collect a postage paid recycling satchel, and post your mobile phone to the Aussie Recycling Program. Or simply hand your phone in over the counter.
  • Download and print a copy of our postage paid label and post your phone today!
  • Donate a corporate fleet of mobile phones by calling (02) 6287 8487, or email We can supply you with signage for your noticeboards. You can also arrange for a free courier pickup (16 phones and over).
  • Schools can get involved too! Please email to discuss how your school can integrate this program whilst inspiring students to take action for wildlife!

Next time your mobile phone rings, let that be a reminder that ‘They’re calling on YOU’!

For more information, visit the Jane Goodall Institute website.


Mobile phones
Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

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