An upcoming ball at Taronga Western Plains Zoo aims to bring the community together, while also raising much-needed funds for its wildlife hospital.
The inaugural Zoo Ball will be held on Saturday, March 21 from 6pm.
Zoo director Steve Hinks said he wanted the event to raise "significant funds" for the wildlife hospital.
"The facility has existed since the late 70s, early 80s and is in need of upgrade. Equipment for these type of facilities is not cheap and there's a lot that our team needs to be able to do their job and meet the growing needs that we're seeing these days," he said.
The staff at the wildlife hospital includes two full-time vets, one full-time and one part-time vet nurse and two scientists.
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They care for about 600 animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and another 600 external cases each year, ranging from reptiles to koalas.
"There's a very large workload and one that we've seen is growing exponentially at the moment with drought conditions," Mr Hinks said.
"We have quite a number of koalas here with us. Drought conditions obviously cause enormous issues for them, so [the ball is] a good opportunity to talk about the work from that perspective, but also to talk about the research and the scientific work that's done here."
Between the drought, fires and floods, Mr Hinks said the work the wildlife hospital did was more important now than ever.
"I think that in times like these it's important to come together and it's important to try and have a good time and do something positive that enables people to feel inspired," he said.
The ball will be held in a secret location at the zoo, only to be revealed upon arrival. Tickets are $175 each, or $150 each if a table of 10 is purchased.
The night will include a three course meal and entertainment.
Everything raised from the event will go to the wildlife hospital, so the staff can continue their work.
"Taronga Western Plains Zoo is not-for-profit. Every dollar raised through our operations goes straight back into the care for our wildlife here on site but also the care we provide for the wildlife that's not part of our zoo population," Mr Hinks said.
"We rely completely and utterly on the money we raise to deliver our mission."
The zoo hopes to make the ball an annual event.
"It's something that we've never attempted before that will showcase the zoo in a completely different way. The pressure is on us operationally but I think we'll deliver a fantastic night," Mr Hinks said.
Tickets can be purchased through the zoo's website at taronga.org.au/dubbo-zoo/zoo-ball.