Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida have received a $1.35 million gift from the Gail S. Posner Trust to name and create the Gail S. Posner Trust Australian Complex, according to Sanford J. Schlesinger, Trustee, at Zoo Miami.
The gift for the Posner Australian Complex will be used to renovate the interior of the Australian building, also known as the “back of house,” which houses the koalas and Matschie’s tree kangaroos, and to expand exhibit areas of the current Australian lobe at Zoo Miami. The interior renovation will include modifications to the koala’s holding areas. The expansion will provide for the enclosure of a 2,500- square-foot outdoor space which is adjacent to the koala and kangaroo building.
This new enclosure will provide additional display areas for the koalas during the cooler months and year-round space for Galah cockatoos, a pink and grey parrot commonly found in Australia. The zoo has three koalas: a 19-year-old male named Cobber (one of the oldest in the country), an 18-year-old female named Danda-Loo and 10-year-old male named Sandy.
Additionally, the gift will support koala conservation programs in Australia through the Conservation Ecology Centre, Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia, create the Gail S. Posner Perceptorship Program in conjunction with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where veterinary students will intern at Zoo Miami, fund an educator at Zoo Miami that will develop and execute Australian animal programming for students, support the hiring of a new Australian animal zookeeper at Zoo Miami, and purchase the eucalyptus diet for the zoo’s koalas.
Zoo Miami was selected for the gift to honor and support its excellence in animal care in memory of Posner’s profound love and concern for animals.
“Gail Posner loved animals of all kinds and would have been thrilled by this gift which will provide care for these magnificent Australian animals locally and in Australia,” Schlesinger said. “Because of Gail’s generosity, this gift will also enhance the educational experience of students and visitors to Zoo Miami about the animals and the importance of conservation. I believe Gail Posner would have been proud to have the new Australian Complex named in her honor.”
Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 St. General zoo admission is $17.95 per adult and $13.95 per child (3-12), plus tax. Children under 2 and zoo members enter free; parking is free. Zoo Miami’s weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekend and holiday hours are 9:30 a.m.- 5:30 pm; ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information about the Zoological Society of Florida, visit www.zsf.org or call 305-255-5551.
For more information about Zoo Miami, visit www.zoomiami.org or call 305-251- 0400.