Art & Design


Beads for Wildlife

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It’s that time of year again where footy merchandise gets inexorably swapped for tinsel, baubles and carols on loop. Despite the early arrival of Christmas cheer into stores let’s face it – a lot of us are going to leave gifts to the last minute and probably end up going for voucher from JB.

But if you’d like to give something a little different that will help not only the person you’re buying for but a whole community and an endangered species, keep reading…

Beads for Wildlife is an initiative from Zoos Victoria helping the women of Northern Kenya create sustainable incomes, and by extension assist the endangered Grevy’s Zebra.

It works like this: women from the Rendille and Samburu Tribes of Northern Kenya produce awesome handmade beads that Zoos Victoria buys and stocks online and at Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo. When you buy any of the beads a portion of the sales go towards supporting the communities that produced them.

How does this help the zebra? Northern Kenya is facing the worst drought in memory, and the Grevy’s Zebra competes with domestic livestock – which the Rendille and Samburi tribes rely on for income – for scarce food and water supplies. Giving these communities a sustainable income means less land is required for livestock, meaning the zebra gets a fair go. Everyone’s a winner.

So if you’re looking for the gift that really keeps giving this year, check out Beads for Wildlife. Guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Beads for Wildlife can be purchased online at and from the retail shops at Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo.

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