Taronga welcomed the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the zoo on their annual Mardi Gras wildlife pilgrimage.

The Sisters, including Sister Salome of the 9th Mystic Rhinestone and Sister Wrowena, Keeper of the Holy Doily, led a group of more than 120 acolytes on a hilarious tour of

Taronga to see Australia’s unique fauna and the new Great Southern Oceans exhibit, before arriving at the zoo’s famous Free Flight Bird Show with its magnificent harbour backdrop.

Zoo Friends volunteer manager Judy Gibson said the visit was always a highlight.

It’s lots of fun and a little bit naughty. I particularly love it that the Sisters’ supporters come from such a diverse range of countries, North America, South America, all across Europe, Asia and of course Australia, she said.

Although the group comes from very diverse backgrounds I never cease to be surprised by their appreciation and knowledge of our unique wildlife. Over the years the group has donated hundreds and hundreds of dollars to wildlife during their visits.

For more than a decade the zoo visit has become one of the highlights of the Mardi Gras season. After touring the zoo in small groups the Sisters flock to the bird show where they traditionally pass around one of their veils for donations, which are given to the Taronga Foundation to support the zoo’s conservation work.

Taronga Zoo is one of the best places in Sydney for anyone to visit. It is a great opportunity for us to bring interstate and international guests to see a top tourist attraction, Sister Salome of the 9th Mystic Rhinestone said.

We also receive great support from the zoo and are always made to feel welcome with wonderful escorting zookeepers that are only too happy to show the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence their enthusiasm for their animals.

More than 70 zoo staff will march in the Mardi Gras parade on Saturday surrounding a huge floral Tasmanian Devil which was made at the Sydney Festival from recycled plastic.

The float’s theme is -˜The Devil Made Me Do It’ to raise awareness of the plight facing the Tasmanian Devil in the wild from a fatal cancer. The marchers will be serenaded by the iconic Kylie Minogue hit Better The Devil You Know.

info: The Zoo is hoping the community will support Tasmanian Devil conservation and donate towards the Taronga Foundation’s appeal through www.tassiedevilappeal.org.

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