Ben and Renee Haywood reckon it’s pretty special to be the only Kiwi kids to be Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Joey Ambassadors.
There are just 12 Joey Ambassadors in the world – from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Hong Kong.
Long Bay Primary pupils Ben, 9, and Renee, 6, were selected because of their commitment raising money and spreading awareness on Steve Irwin Day last year.
They organised a campout at their place. Ben says they raised $800 and 130 people came.
The Joey Ambassadors’ mission is to spread awareness and raise funds for wildlife conservation in the lead up to Steve Irwin Day on November 15.
Ambassadors are given challenges, which include approaching local businesses to display a donation box.
Another challenge is for each Joey Ambassador to collect 15 English books to send to a school in Tanzania.
Each Joey Ambassador has to engage with one international and one local school to host a Khaki Day to celebrate Steve Irwin Day.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors appeals manager Murray Munro says the Joey Ambassadors "epitomise the things that Steve Irwin was famous for and are the next generation to take us forward in conservation".
Ben says being a Joey Ambassador is "really good. There are only 12 in the world so it makes you feel pretty special."
Renee says she counts herself lucky to be chosen. The siblings have special Joey Ambassador tags and have been assigned an animal mascot. Renee’s is the emu and Ben’s is the red-bellied black snake.
"To us, being Wildlife Warriors means that we need to protect animals and help conservation," says Ben.
"We need to help animals if they’re sick and make sure they have a good environment to live in. To help animals we need to fundraise to keep up the good work. You have to be active to be a Wildlife Warrior so you have to be ‘out there’, which is what we are doing."
To donate, visit www.wildlifewarriors.org.au.
- © Fairfax NZ News