Prague, Jan 26 (CTK) – People have sent almost 13.5 million crowns in aid to Australia hit by disastrous bushfires within the Prague zoo’s public fundraising campaign, zoo director Miroslav Bobek and representatives of the Prague City Hall and the Australian consulate said today.
The zoo has already sent the first part of the financial aid to Australia.
“The support can be divided into two basic areas. First, it is the immediate aid, the removal of acute consequences, and then there is a long-term and medium-term help for the protection of localities and particular (animal) species that are on the verge of extinction,” Bobek explained.
The Prague zoo has so far sent 100,000 Australian dollars to the local zoo in the state of Victoria for acute veterinary aid as well as the return of animals into the wildlife.
Another 100,000 Australian dollars will be sent to South Australia to save koalas and to Kangaroo Island for the operation of a veterinary hospital.
Some means are also allocated for anti-fire measures in other protected landscape areas in Victoria, in particular for a fire truck and other technical equipment and for a fire training of employees.
The Prague zoo launched the public fundraising on January 6.
“After two days, 860,000 crowns were collected in the account,” Bobek said today, adding that the fundraising campaign would continue in the following months and its end was not set yet.
Every visitor to the Prague zoo contributes to Australia with three crowns from the ticket that go to the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, the Prague Council decided in early January. This Australian organisation is thereby to gain some 160,000 crowns.
The disastrous fires started in Australia last September. An area of more than ten million hectares was scorched, 28 people died and some 2,600 houses were destroyed mainly in the state of New South Wales in the southeast of the country. The situation improved at the end of last week thanks to storms with heavy rainfalls.
Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek approved in early January that the Czech Republic would send two million crowns to Australia to soften the consequences of the bushfires in Victoria. The Czech humanitarian aid will go to rescue and emergency forces in the afflicted areas, based on the recommendation of the Australian Foreign Affairs Ministry.