Rivlin meets Australian wildlife affected by brushfires in Sydney zoo

During the visit, he met with the zoo's staff and management, as well as with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, an echidna and even a platypus.

President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia (photo credit: KOBY GIDEON/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia
(photo credit: KOBY GIDEON/GPO)
During his diplomatic visit to Australia, President Reuven Rivlin stopped by the Taronga Zoo's wildlife hospital in Sydney, where he met with many of the animals being treated in the wake of the brutal Australian bushfires.
During the visit, he met with the zoo's staff and management, as well as with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, an echidna and even a platypus.
 President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. (Credit: Koby Gideon/GPO) President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. (Credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)
The hospital treats over 1,400 animals yearly, but they've had their hands full over the past few months due to the latest brushfires in the country, which, according to the hospital, killed over a million animals.
 President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. (Credit: Koby Gideon/GPO) President Reuven Rivlin at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. (Credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)
The zoo's management and staff told Rivlin about their attempts over the past months to rescue animals trapped in the fire, adding that the damage from the fire was so severe that animals would likely not be able to be returned to their natural habitats for another 12 years.
“We are talking about animals that live 8-12 years, so only the next generation and the one after that will return to nature," said Cameron Carr, the zoo's head and chief vet. "The extent of the destruction is immense and it will take a long time to regrow.”
“This is a natural disaster that happens every few decades, not every few centuries,” Rivlin said, adding praise for the heart-warming and inspiring concern and rescue efforts the staff made for the Australian wildlife.
“Our veterinary teams in Israel, including at the wildlife hospital in Beit Dagan, work with similarly impressive professionalism, despite the fact that our natural habitats are more limited," he said. "Here, you have a great wealth of wild animals and the care paid by the people of Australia is similar to the compassion and concern that I know from the way we take care of animals in Israel.”