Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Chameleons uncovered at Auckland Zoo


28 November 2005

Best in disguise: Chameleons uncovered at Auckland Zoo

Five classroom created chameleons go on display at Auckland Zoo in whats believed to be a New Zealand first.

These stunning and unique reptiles will remain on view to the public throughout the summer.

Originating from Tauranga, Wanganui, Rotorua, and Auckland, they are the five winning artistic creations of the Zoo's 2005 'Chameleons are Cool' Banner Competition, which was open to primary and secondary school students throughout New Zealand.

Over 600 entries from budding artists from Kaitaia to Stewart Island were received by the Zoo's Education Service. The competition was run to spark children's creativity and interest in wildlife and the environment, and also encourage students to reach for excellence.

Thirteen-year-old art lover Ruby Lee of Tauranga Intermediate was judged the Supreme Winner for her entry "Three Wishes". Featuring three chameleons - the best from a large number of draft drawings, the painting's title, says Ruby, is her wish that these reptiles will not become extinct.

Her classmate, Saekye Oh, was one of four runners-up for his very distinctive chameleon, "The Dotted C". Louisa Hormann of Wanganui Intermediate, also a Year 8 student, and

this year's winner of Auckland Fine Art Supplies' art competition, "Uniquely New Zealand", was also a runner-up for her "Master of Disguise".

The competition’s two youngest runners-up were Daley McDonnell, aged seven, from Rotakawa School in Rotorua for "Cute Chameleon", and six-year-old Liam Powell of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Epsom, Auckland, for his "Striped Chameleon". Each winner receives a monetary prize, as well as the mana of having their banner on display at the Zoo.

"We're absolutely delighted by the enthusiasm for the competition, and artistically there were a lot of truly outstanding entries,” says Auckland Zoo Education Service Manager Leigh Wither.

“The five winning entries all differ widely in colour and design and brilliantly reflect chameleons' reputation as the colour wizards of the natural world."

"Thanks to our sponsors, PMP Digital, we will have the five winning banners displayed throughout the Zoo over our busy summer period for everyone to enjoy," says Leigh Wither.

A further five students were also highly commended. They were Jessica Mulder (Year 10) of Elam Christian College in Greenmount, Auckland; Emma Eccleton (Year 2) of Our Lady of Sacred Heart in Epsom, Auckland; and Year 10 students Rachel Millns, Jemila Heffernan and Sophie Petley, all from Paraparaumu College.


- There are over 100 species of chameleons in the world. Over half live in Madagascar. The rest are naturally found in Africa, the Middle East, India, and more recently, Hawaii.
- Auckland Zoo holds the Jackson's chameleon from East Africa.
- The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified eight chameleon species at various levels of extinction risk on the IUCN Red List. The most critically endangered is the Smith's dwarf chameleon from South Africa.
- Threats to these species are loss of habitat for these arboreal reptiles, and collection for the illegal pet trade.

Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of native and exotic wildlife species in New Zealand (over 1000 animals and 178 species) and attracts over half a million visitors annually. It is becoming increasingly well known nationally and internationally through the award-winning television programme, 'The Zoo'. At the heart of all Auckland Zoo's work and activities is its MISSION: "to focus the Zoo’s resources to benefit conservation and provide exciting visitor experiences which inspire and empower people to take positive action for wildlife and the environment". Auckland Zoo’s Charitable Trust is currently fundraising for the establishment of a New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine, to be built at the Zoo in 2006. Auckland Zoo is a member of both the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks & Aquaria (ARAZPA) and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Finding A Model To Replace The Monarchy

One feels reluctant to pre-empt the verdict of history, but maybe we need to have a Plan B in mind just in case the reign of King Charles III turns out badly. With that possibility in mind, are there any other countries that do a reasonably good job of electing their ceremonial head of state? There is no perfect model for New Zealand to follow but - arguably - Ireland has made a pretty good fist of it over the past 70 years or so. Ireland has roughly the same population as New Zealand, so the pool of talent is similar in size...

Alastair Thompson: Are There TPLF Ethiopia Insurgency Training & Support Operations in Uganda?

Mystery Document Alleges:
Covert Operation has US/Egypt Support
Operations Coordinated between South Sudan, TPLF and Uganda
Planning began December 2021...



Government: Welcomes Climate Change Commission Advice On Agricultural Pricing System
The Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system... More>>


Government: Action To Tackle Delays In Family Court
New legislation aimed at tackling delays in the family justice system, will help improve the wellbeing of thousands of children caught up in Family Court disputes every year, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says... More>>

Prime Minister: Chatham House Speech
What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years... More>>

Economy: Financial Statements Of The Government Of New Zealand
Please note the next Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand to be released will be for the full year ended 30 June 2022. It is anticipated that these will be released in early October 2022... More>>

Government: New Era For Better Health In Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government has today delivered a nationwide health system that will ensure better outcomes for all New Zealanders with the establishment of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand... More>>

Greens: Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin

After years of research and advocacy, Parliament will finally consider legislation to take meaningful action on alcohol harm, says the Greens... More>>




InfoPages News Channels