Koalas are among the billion-plus animals displaced, injured or killed in the Australian fires.

In response to the devastating wildfires in Australia, the Omaha zoo has pledged $5,000 to organizations assisting with emergency animal care.

The fires have displaced, injured or killed more than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles, experts estimate.

“Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is greatly concerned about the devastating impact of the bushfires on Australian wildlife and their habitats,” Dr. Cheryl Morris, vice president of conservation at the zoo, said in a statement.

The zoo is sending two donations of $2,500 each to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, zoo.org.au/fire-fund, and New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc., wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund.

Morris said the zoo is “committed to supporting Australia’s zoos working on the front lines of this fight to care for injured wildlife.”

The Omaha zoo is home to more than a dozen animals native to Australia and some endangered plants.

A recap of the Henry Doorly Zoo's arrivals and departures in 2019

2019 arrivals and departures from the Omaha zoo

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Early on the morning of April 16, a female giraffe was born to 19-year-old mother Dottie at the zoo. Zookeepers already notice she’s more curious than other giraffe calves and likes to look around her exhibit and lick her keepers.

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Four gentoo penguin chicks got a warm reception at the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium Wednesday as zoo director Dennis Pate introduced the newcomers, above. Then it was on to the penguins’ new habitat, where the chicks chilled in the falling snow, right. The gentoo chicks are each about 2 months old; their sexes are not yet known. The births bring the zoo’s total gentoo penguin population to 37. See video of the chicks’ big day at Omaha.com.

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jwade@owh.com, 402-444-1067

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