Today we’re celebrating one of our many incredible volunteers that keep Auckland Zoo humming – and his contribution to conservation!

This is Ray who we’re lucky to have had with us as part of our volunteer programme since 2009. You may have met him out in our beautiful grounds every Friday, welcoming you to the zoo and teaching you more about the animals in our care.

Ray has many talents, not least of which is his creative streak! Using his own photographs, he creates highly detailed drawings by etching with a scalpel onto an inked board. Ray says that fur and feathers take the longest time to etch yet eyes are the feature which truly bring the portraits to life.

Over the years Ray has created an amazing collection of drawings and when he found that he no longer had room for them all, he kindly donated them to the zoo. These were recently auctioned off internally as a fundraiser for our Conservation Fund and the drawings raised an incredible $655!

Ray’s other skills include cake making and his Friday team mates regularly enjoy Ray’s baking especially his legendary tiger cake – an orange cake with a chocolate ripple stripe running through it – yum. A huge ka pai to Ray and all of our volunteers. You can learn more about our programme here