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Warrnambool students make special Christmas delivery

16 December 2016

On Friday 16 December students from Warrnambool West Primary School made a special Christmas delivery at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Throughout the school year, the students have been collecting five cent pieces to help save the critically endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

On Friday Prep, Grade 1 and 2 students presented zoo staff with a cheque for an incredible $855 – the largest amount that’s ever been raised through Zoos Victoria’s Common Cents Challenge.

During their visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo, students made some new friends – Parri the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and Albus, our Guardian Dog Ambassador!

Every class contributed to the collection, which totaled 17,100 individual five pieces, weighing in at just over 48 kilograms.

Warrnambool West Primary School is a small school of just one hundred and thirty students, which makes this achievement even more remarkable.

It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, with funds supporting Zoos Victoria’s breeding program for the species.

The program has provided students with a range of learning opportunities, from plotting the geographic range of Eastern Bandicoots, to counting bandicoots and five cents pieces in maths class!

Most importantly however, students at Warrnambool West Primary School have been able to learn about the conservation of our local endangered species.

Eastern Barred Bandicoots were once widespread throughout Western Victoria, but are currently extinct in the wild of mainland of Australia, as a result of loss of habitat and introduced predators.

Werribee Open Range Zoo is part of the Victorian breeding and release program for the species and also provides a training base for the Guardian Dog Trial – to determine whether Maremma Guardian Dogs can protect Eastern Barred Bandicoots from introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats.

Find out more about our Common Cents Challenge