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The People's Zoo!
Victorians have voted in their thousands, and Melbourne Zoo has been named their most popular metropolitan tourism attraction for the second year in a row.
Zoo Director Kevin Tanner attended the gala tourism awards event last night and says that he sees the award as great recognition for the efforts of all the Zoo team.
‘It’s very special to be the people’s choice, the most popular of the many excellent attractions that Melbourne has to offer.
‘This acknowledgement of the Zoo is really important to us, especially because I think that in addition to the Zoo’s long history as a great place to visit, the award also recognises the ongoing redevelopment we’ve been undertaking,’ Mr. Tanner says.
‘We believe that the vote also shows that Victorians appreciate our conservation efforts, both for our native species such as the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and for wildlife overseas.
‘The Don’t Palm us Off campaign in particular has been enthusiastically supported by the community, with 100,000 people signing our recent petition requesting clearer labelling of palm oil and about 40,000 using our website link to voice their views to the relevant Ministers.
‘Last night was a milestone for the Zoo as a Melbourne icon.
‘Today could be a milestone day for the future of orang-utans in the wild, because today is the day when the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation will be meeting to decide on proposed changes to labelling laws.’
Mr. Tanner explains that as a zoo-based conservation organisation Melbourne Zoo has been able to focus attention on the vitally important palm oil issue by highlighting three rainforest species: orang-utans, tigers, and elephants.
All these and more are at risk of losing their homes and their futures unless further deforestation is prevented.
‘Our role in the Victorian community includes showing leadership on ensuring a future for endangered species, and I would like to thank all the volunteers, Members, and visitors who have joined forces with the Zoo team to support Don’t Palm us Off.’