From Sumatran Tigers to Giant Pandas, some of the world's most rare and exotic animals can be found in Australia's larger zoos; and they've made themselves available for a close-up.
Seven zoos from around Australia have each nominated one special animal to be honoured on a stamp as part of Australia Post's Australian Zoos stamp issue, which is also the theme for Stamp Collecting Month 2012.
In October each year a different subject is selected to promote the hobby of stamp collecting and educate primary school children about the selected theme in line with curriculum areas such as history, geography, science and technology and the environment. Schools also implement a number of fun activities for children.
The Australian Zoos theme teaches children about the importance of conservation and planned breeding programs by featuring animals that are already under threat and have benefited from programs initiated or run by Australian Zoos.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt, hopes that the Australian Zoos stamp issue will inspire further interest in the very important work performed by our zoos in addressing the conservation needs of all endangered species.
"Stamp Collecting Month gives us the opportunity to educate children through a medium that's visual and interactive. We hope that these stamp images encourage children to talk about these issues and the impact that they might have on the future of these and all animals. We hope that the stamps inspire them to get involved", said Mr Zsolt.
The Australian Zoos stamp issue also coincides with Melbourne Zoo's 150th birthday. To celebrate, Australia Post recognised their chosen animal, the Sumatran Tiger, with a double definitive stamp which also features the Melbourne Zoo anniversary logo.
The Australian Zoos stamp issue, which was released on 28 September 2012, features seven remarkable animals currently housed in seven of Australia's larger zoos:
- Black Rhino - Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, New South Wales
- Giraffe - Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales
- Saltwater Crocodile - Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
- Wedge-tailed Eagle - Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria
- Sumatran Tiger - Melbourne Zoo, Victoria
- Giant Panda - Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
- Sumatran Orangutan - Perth Zoo, Western Australia.
The stamp issue features a highly collectable postal and numismatic cover (PNC) which presents a $1 colour pad-printed coin featuring the Sumatran Tiger. The coin is Alloy Bronze from the Royal Australian Mint and was designed by Aaron Baggio. Also available are two limited edition (7,500 each) stamp and medallion covers.
This stamp issue comprises a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, self-adhesive booklet of 20 x 60c stamps, self-adhesive roll of 100 x 60c stamps and a set of seven maxicards. The stamps and associated products are available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 28 September 2012 while stocks last. For more information on this year's Stamp Collecting Month theme on Australian Zoos, you can visit the dedicated website at - auspost.com.au/scm