Zoo director saves pandas, monkeys from Australia fire by taking them home

Zoo director saves pandas, monkeys from Australia fire by taking them home
© Getty Images

Employees at the Mogo Wildlife Park in Australia scrambled to rescue animals from raging wildfires this week, with some staff taking animals home with them to save their lives.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the zoo's director, Chad Staples, said some animals were relocated to safer parts of the park, while others were taken home by staffers.

“Right now, in my house, there’s animals of all descriptions in all the different rooms so that they’re safe and protected,” Staples said.


He added that "not a single animal" at the zoo, which has the country’s largest private collection of exotic animals, was hurt during the fires.

Another staffer told BBC Radio that employees were keeping smaller monkeys, red pandas and even tigers in their homes and backyards.

Larger animals, such as rhinos and giraffes, were guarded by staff and volunteers who put out nearby fires and prepared a safe part of the park for relocation.
The rescue efforts come as fires have ravaged the country and are believed to have destroyed the habitat of numerous wild animals.
Earlier this week, a top government official said it was possible that 30 percent of the koalas in the New South Wales area, numbering in the thousands, had been killed in the fires.

"Up to 30 percent of the koalas in the region may have been killed, because up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed," Australian Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said. "We'll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made."