CHESTER Zoo is launching an online global conservation charity.
The flagship charity is called Act for Wildlife and the zoo has set a £50,000 target this year alone.
The zoo, which has an annual intake of 1.4 million visitors every year, is to forge closer links with its on-field conservation projects across the world.
As an international umbrella charity, it will supply five key conservation areas:
Asian elephants in Assam.
Black rhinos in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya.
Realm of the red ape – The Sumatran and Bornean orang-utan.
Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.
The zoo already fosters four of the international projects, whereas the UK wildlife scheme encourages domestic awareness of local wildlife.
Chester Zoo has pledged to cut out administrative costs and supply 100% funding to animal conservation.
Last year’s city-wide Rhino Mania initiative forged closer links between Chester Zoo and the community and raised awareness of the plight of the critically endangered black rhino in Kenya.
Staff have been working on Act For Wildlife for two years and the scheme will use online social networking sites to elevate Chester Zoo’s status as one of Europe’s leading conservation champions.
The new charity will hone national corporate support, community fundraising and individual donations.
There will be free activity packs encouraging schoolchildren to participate.
The charity pledges to showcase a selection of projects from across the globe, with blogs from the field and the chance to donate directly to them.
Project manager Michelle Dumas said: “It is strengthening the relationship between Chester Zoo and conservation projects around the world.”
Subscribers to the charity will receive e-newletters, blogs and live updates from on-field curators.
For further information, visit www.actforwildlife.org.uk.