CRUISE ship visitors to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary on shore tours in search of authentic travel experiences are contributing to the sanctuary’s efforts to save endangered native wildlife. They account for about a quarter of visitors to the centre during the peak tourism season.

The contribution of cruise visitors has helped the sanctuary expand its life-saving work in looking after an increasing number of native animals.

Greg Irons, the director of the sanctuary, is enthusiastic about the many cruise visitors who make the 25-minute drive north from Hobart to see the sanctuary.

“We run the main wildlife rescue service in Tasmania looking after around 9000 animals each year and we also operate a wildlife hospital,” Mr Irons said.

“The contribution that cruise visitors make to our operations means that they are part of the solution in saving animals.

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“They aren’t just here to give some animals a tickle and a pat. They are actually saving wildlife because we are a sanctuary not a zoo.

The sanctuary has six specialist staff including three veterinarians onsite and surgery is performed there three days a week.

Carnival Australia destinations director, Michael Mihajlov, said the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary tour is an excellent example of the authentic and meaningful experiences that cruise visitors are seeking.

“Our guests learn a lot but they also leave the sanctuary knowing that they have contributed to its work. Their contribution through a shore tour is helping to save more endangered wildlife,” Mr Mihajlov said.

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