Threatened Species Day and a rare 18th birthday have made for a special celebration at Symbio Wildlife Park this weekend.
The family-run zoo at Helensburgh celebrates the first event today and will send three zookeepers and some endangered animals, including koalas and Tasmanian devils, to Martin Place in the heart of Sydney.
Symbio managing director John Radnidge said they would be joining other zoos to help raise awareness about the plight of many species and the conservation efforts to save them.
Children will be the focus on Sunday when Symbio celebrates the 18th birthday of one of its oldest and most loved residents, a red panda called Mr Myagi.
Wildlife Saver Account holders with Illawarra Credit Union helped pay for Mr Myagi's home and a new exhibit next door for a younger breeding pair of red pandas.
The first 40 children to visit Symbio Wildlife Park on Sunday will enter for free.
Red pandas generally only live to be 12 or 13 years in the wild.
That makes Mr Myagi ancient by animal kingdom standards, according to Mr Radnidge.
But for those in the know in the zoological industry, it is also a testament to the care the family-run zoo provides to critically endangered species from around the world.
An industry expert will be among the guests at Sunday's party, Mr Radnidge said.
He hopes to have more good news soon on the red panda front.
If seven-year-old Indira, from Mogo Zoo, and eight-year-old Himal, from Adelaide Zoo, successfully mated in the 18-hour breeding window the species had in June, there might be the first pitter patter of tiny red panda paws at Symbio this spring, making Mr Myagi a grandfather of sorts.
The breeding program is considered vitally important because red pandas are so critically endangered. There are thought to be fewer than 250 left in the wild.