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 and 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 percent of its income through visitation and local business support. However, since the State of Emergency, the Park’s visitation has dropped over 75 percent and a number of PNG businesses have been unable to lend as much support.
Port Moresby Nature Park’s CEO, Michelle McGeorge, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Society for recognising 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.”
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.
Story on PNG Loop.