Every visit helps make our Wild Work possible.

Auckland Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation, operating to build a future for wildlife and connecting visitors with wildlife. 

However, something that our visitors may not know is that every time they visit, money goes towards funding conservation activities out in the wild - our Wild Work.

Wild Work encompasses our projects out in the field helping New Zealand or overseas populations, our onsite breeding programmes for endangered animals and our Vet Hospital that treats sick and injured animals from the wild.

In addition to this, our Conservation Fund has raised over $5,200,000 for conservation projects all over the world and is directly funded by tickets to the Zoo and donations from the public. 

Next time you're at Auckland Zoo remember: you visiting here, helps animals out there.

Releasing To The Wild

Every year we release thousands of animals back into the wild. We keep and breed endangered New Zealand animals that need our help - and then release them back into the wild habitat to develop and grow populations.

One of our 'biggest' success stories is the wētāpunga - the world's heaviest insect, and the largest wētā species. Starting with just 12 insects found on 1 island, we have bred and released over 6,000 wētāpunga, and established 8 new populations on islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Sleep tight knowing Auckland Zoo is working hard to re-establish this giant invertebrate in your garden!

New Zealand's national icon is notoriously endangered and in need of help. Here at the Zoo, our eggs-perts have hatched and released 410 kiwi to the wild (and counting). Emerging from their enormous eggs, these birds 'take flight' to predator-free island kiwi creches, thanks to their human wingmen at the Zoo and Operation Nest Egg. Once they're old enough to defend themselves from introduced predators, they're released into their forest of origin. 

We've also played a key role in re-establishing critically endangered orange-fronted parakeets (61 released to date) and endangered native duck species such as pāteke and whio (187 released to date).

Our staff spend a combined 5,128 hours a year working to breed and release endangered New Zealand animals of all kinds - but none of this Wild Work would be possible without our visitors.


Our staff use their expertise outside of the zoo grounds, helping to survey and research wild populations of endangered species, control dangerous pests and predators, and protect vulnerable wildlife in wild places.

We take our role as kaitiaki (caretaker) seriously, and we average 3,000 hours a year on the frontline in New Zealand providing care for species like the takahē, kākāpō, Archey’s frog, the New Zealand sealion as well as many rare skinks and geckos.

Our Wild Work in the Pacific Islands has seen our staff passing on their skills and expertise to local communities in Samoa, helping the critically endangered manumea, as well contributing to international research in Rarotonga saving the vulnerable kakerori.

By engaging in fieldwork, and giving our time and skills to projects in Aotearoa and abroad, we’re adding to global conservation science and preserving biodiversity for generations to come. 

Vet Hospital

The Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital is internationally renowned for its world-leading medical care and conservation research.

Our vet team of 12 treat not only Auckland Zoo’s animals but they also care for vulnerable, sick and injured New Zealand native species that are in critical need of veterinary support.

When they're not on-site treating our animals, they're executing preventative and curative medical treatment to native wildlife all over New Zealand.

Conservation Fund

Our Wild Work takes us all over the world. We set up the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund in 2001 and since then, we’ve raised over $5.2 million to build a future for wildlife where animals are safe from extinction.

To do this, we partner with NGO’s and not-for-profit organisations on the ground in Africa and Asia conserving species such as giraffe, Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, red panda and countless more vulnerable species.

Auckland Zoo has also set up the Small Grants Programme to fund budding scientific programmes with a clear conservation value that might find obtaining funding a challenge.

Two thirds of this funding supports overseas projects and the remaining third is distributed to fund local projects - work that is carried out in line with our ground-level field work to preserve New Zealand species.