San Diego Zoo to provide relief aid to devastated Australian animals and habitats

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – People from around the world are coming together to help save the lives of animals suffering from the damage done by Australian wildfires.

In-studio to discuss how San Diego Zoo is stepping up is Ambassador Rick Shwartz.

“It’s terrifying, it’s horrific,” says Shwartz on the ongoing wildfires. “You look at our wildfires we’ve had here in California, and they don’t even compare.”

Shwartz describes how evolutionary survival tactics of Koala bears only damage their survival rate in the case of fires, and their natural habitat is especially prone to affecting their population because Eucalyptus trees burn at a higher temperature.

The San Diego Zoo not only provides aid in rescuing animals, but rehabilitating the damaged habitat as well.  Although some animals survive the initial burn, their long-term survival depends on their access to food, water and shelter.

To learn more and to aid in the Australian wildfire relief efforts, visit

“The works is just starting,” Shwartz says. “The fires are still raging.”

The SD Zoo and SD Zoo Safari park have pledged to match the money made from park admissions on Sunday, January 12th to go towards the wildlife relief fund in Australia.

Categories: Good Evening San Diego, Local San Diego News, Wildfires