The Tiger Trek exhibit allows visitors to ‘take-off’ to Indonesia via a virtual flight where passengers learn about the tigers' natural environment and why they are critically endangered due to deforestation activities and poaching. Through the windows of the aircraft, people are able to see the mountains of Sumatra, letting them feel as if they were really landing in the Sumatran jungle. On ‘disembarking’ the aircraft, visitors find themselves in a replica of an Indonesian village on the edge of the forests of Way Kambas National Park, where the remainder of the last 400 Sumatran tigers live today.

A path then leads people to an area recreated to resemble the national park and where the four endangered Sumatran tigers can be seen from various points, including a themed ranger outpost.

At the launch of the exhibit, Belinda Fairbrother, Community Conservation Manager at Taronga Conservation Society Australia, said that the Tiger Trek experience is the first of its kind for the zoo and stressed how all industries using palm oil have a responsibility in saving species from extinction by choosing certified sustainable palm oil.

“The goal is to drive demand in the Australian market and ensure that local companies commit to transitioning to only using RSPO-certified segregated palm oil.

“The data highlights that 84% of Australians have heard about palm oil and that 67% of them associate negative sentiment with it. As a result, Taronga is working to increase awareness of sustainably sourced palm oil, which will help protect tigers, communities and habitats,” said Ms Fairbrother.

The exhibit ends in an average everyday supermarket where people are encouraged to make more conscious decisions while shopping, buying products that are only made with certified Sustainable Palm Oil. This supermarket component of the experience celebrates companies that only use 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in their products and names those who are yet to transition. The rating is based on the latest WWF palm oil scorecard and goes from Gold (4 stars - ‘Tigeriffic!’) to Green (3 stars - ‘On their way’) and Red (‘Room to improve’).

To drive and support change, people can select products via a virtual self-service check out to check the rating. Visitors can then choose to send emails to the companies to either congratulate them or ask them to keep moving towards a sustainable future. This can also be done through the Taronga Zoo App.

Beside the counter, generic and non-branded products are showcased such as muesli, toothpaste, peanut butter, shampoo and biscuits. This is important as it raises awareness that palm oil is a vegetable oil used in a significant number of products in the marketplace and is often not declared or not sustainably sourced.

The Ferrero products featured in the supermarket - Nutella, Kinder Surprise and Ferrero Rocher - are rated with the highest gold star (4 stars) and, since the start of the exhibition (August 2017), Ferrero Australia’s Consumer Services has received over 15,000 Thank You emails, with more coming in everyday!

We are very proud of this part of the exhibit as it recognises Ferrero for being a responsible company that conserves forests, protects species and secures livelihoods. Furthermore, this initiative aligns with Ferrero’s CSR commitments to voluntarily declare sustainably sourced palm oil on label and use only 100% CSPO and RSPO-certified segregated palm oil.
Ferrero goes even further by being a member of POIG and has established a technical partnership with TFT, to support the implementation of the Ferrero Palm Oil Charter.

More information on this initiative can be found at: https://taronga.org.au/act-for-the-wild/forests/raise-your-palm