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School kids unveil Sanctuary tuatara sculpture


13 September 2006

School kids unveil Sanctuary tuatara sculpture

20 lucky children from around Wellington have been invited to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday morning to unveil a specially-commissioned donation box in the form of a giant metal tuatara.

The sculpture, which is 2.2 metres long, will greet visitors as they enter the world-first wildlife sanctuary. It has been generously funded by Urban Perspectives Ltd.

Over the past 3 months, the children have been collecting old silver coins for the Sanctuary, to support the conservation of endangered species such as tuatara. Many children have also designed their own coin collection boxes, inspired by the native New Zealand wildlife living at the Sanctuary. These will be put on display over the weekend, as part of the Endangered Species Day event taking place this Saturday.

The school that has collected the most money will receive a free Energy Efficiency Assessment, courtesy of Sanctuary education programme sponsor Contact Energy. The class that has made the best effort will be given a free night tour of the Sanctuary, where they will have a chance to spot some of the 100 or so little spotted kiwi that call the Sanctuary home.

In December 2005, the Sanctuary became the first place on mainland New Zealand to have tuatara released back into the wild. The sculpture is a stylized representation of this iconic 'living dinosaur'. Members of the public will have a chance to see (and ‘feed’!) him on Saturday, when the Sanctuary holds its Endangered Species Day event. They will also be able to see and touch the real thing: Spike, one of Victoria University’s tuatara, will be paying a visit in the afternoon.

The Sanctuary has already received over $2,500 worth of silver coins from members of the public, local schools and companies. It is hoped that Saturday's event will bring in even more - anyone bringing a jarful of coins along will get if for free!



The kiwi and tuatara are disappearing from our small change. Don't let the same thing happen for real. Bring your old coins to the Sanctuary on Saturday 16 September and get in for FREE! Tell me more...

Open daily 10am - 5pm (except Christmas Day). Sanctuary by Night tours depart every evening, 30 minutes before sunset. Click here for more details


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