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Port Moresby Nature Park has received a generous donation of K20, 000 from the Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS), PNG through the recently launched ‘Wildlife Appeal’.
WCS Country Director to Papua New Guinea Dr. Ambroise Brenier said “Port Moresby Nature Park, Papua New Guinea’s highest visited single recreational facility is doing a fantastic job in promoting and supporting the conservation of the country’s unique biodiversity.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, the longest established international conservation organisation operating in Papua New Guinea, also manages four zoos and one aquarium in New York, USA. We are thus well aware of the challenges that zoos are facing during COVID-19 pandemic and we hope that our donation can help Port Moresby Nature Park to continue its important work in wildlife conservation in Papua New Guinea.”
It costs Port Moresby Nature Park K110,000 per month to look after the Park’s 550 plus native animals: from the purchasing of food, to paying wildlife officer wages, to electricity powering pumps, heating & cooling life-support systems, to water for exhibit cleaning, filling ponds and wildlife drinking, and to security services to keep the Park’s wildlife and property safe. These monthly expenses exclude the costs of the Park’s other vital services including the school’s education programs, research programs, general Park maintenance and garden upkeep and provision of the Nature Park’s public events.
As a registered charitable organisation, Port Moresby Nature Park derives 70% of its income through visitation and local business support. However, since the State of Emergency the Park’s visitation has dropped over 75% and a number of PNG businesses have been unable to lend as much support.
The ‘Wildlife Appeal’ was launched requesting for public and corporate entities to help the struggling Park with the costs to feed and look after the wildlife in its care. The park has seen a positive response with donations coming in not only from PNG but also globally.
Port Moresby Nature Park’s CEO Ms Michelle McGeorge, said, “We are immensely grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Society for recognizing the Nature Park’s commitment to the care and rehabilitation of native wildlife, many facing extinction if not orphaned, abandoned or injured.
The donation WCS has made will help us to ensure that our wildlife care can continue despite the financial strain we are currently faced with due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” She added.
Ms McGeorge noted that other ways local residents could support the Park was by visiting, joining the Park’s membership program, eating at the Park’s café or buying something from their souvenir shop.
The Nature Park is open every day with a number of additional COVID-19 safety measures in place.
Ms McGeorge also thanked those that had already supported the Wildlife Appeal and noted that any donation, big or small would make a difference to helping Port Moresby Nature Park continue to make an impact in wildlife conservation in PNG.