In an effort to honor iconic wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin, daughter Bindi Irwin and Australia Zoo ambassador Elissa Sursara have dedicated their popular social media feeds to wildlife in distress, asking their hundreds of thousands of followers to join the battle for animals.
Bindi, who lives full-time on the Australia Zoo grounds in Queensland, has 1.3 million followers on the photo-sharing website whilst Elissa, who works as a naturalist and environmental writer, boasts a whopping 190 thousand fans.
The pair front Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors conservation program alongside The Veronicas and other personalities including Tim Dormer and model Ellie Gonsalves.
Their goal is to promote a positive message for wildlife and activism for the environment amongst young people by showing kindness and compassion for the planet.
According to the Wildlife Warriors website, the charity was set up by the late Steve Irwin and his wife Terri Irwin to honour Steve’s parents and aims to be the most effective organisation in the world by delivering outcome-based programs and projects, inclusive to humanity.
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It's Valentigers Day! Perhaps today, on Valentines Day (and as a way of celebrating my birthday today ?) we can all make a small donation to @wildlifewarriorsworldwide to help support our incredible tiger conservation program. – It is presently a very real possibility that the tiger will become extinct in our lifetime. Hunted for parts and pelts, there are fewer than 4000 wild tigers left. Therefore, tiger conservation is now more critical than ever to protect these cats from extinction. – Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors is working in partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) @florafaunaint with its tiger conservation program. FFI has had great success with its Tiger Conservation and Protection Units (TCPU), and with the help of @AustraliaZoo, it is the most successful tiger law enforcement program in south-east Asia. – With thanks to tiger conservation programs and the generosity of a caring public, wild tiger numbers have increased by 690 big cats since 2010! A small but incredible number for these critically endangered animals. Remember, just $5 can help save one tiger in the wild for one day. Their numbers have increased, but we still have a long way to go. – Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors has provided the TCPU with vehicles and an assortment of other necessary equipment, including global positioning systems (GPS), digital cameras, veterinary drugs, uniforms and spotlights. The result of which has seen thousands of square metres of forests in Sumatra being patrolled and protected for our special big cats. – TAKE ACTION! To help us help tigers in the wild, follow the link in my bio to donate, sponsor a tiger or become a wildlife warrior! ???? – @australiazoo @mashagulak @florafaunaint #EndExtinction
In an Instagram post on her birthday, Elissa Sursara boasted about the zoo’s tiger conservation program, dubbing the day “Valentigers Day.” She said, “it’s presently a very real possibility that the tiger will become extinct in our lifetime … we’re working in partnership with Fauna and Flora International and its tiger conservation program.”
Bindi Irwin, who recently published an emotional tribute to her dad on the anniversary of his birthday, said she would “forever be a wildlife warrior.” She added that Steve is, “always in our hearts.”
The Wildlife Warriors program has attracted major celebrity endorsement since its inception, with talk show heavyweights including Jimmy Fallon recruiting members of the team, such as Bindi’s young brother Robert Irwin, to appear on their couches to talk about Steve and his legacy.
In a clip viewed more than 6 million times, Robert Irwin was the picture of his father Steve as he showcased a slithering snake and sleepy sloth to Fallon and his captivated audience.
The next goal for Bindi, Robert, Elissa and Australia Zoo is the Wildlife Warriors Gala Dinner in Los Angeles in May.