Once upon a time, there was a zoo in Sydney. And then, there was another zoo in Sydney. And now, Harry Styles has accidentally reignited a feud between the two zoos, who have battled for the title of Sydney’s main zoo for the last eight years. Sit down child, and allow me to recount the tale.
If your childhood memory is anything to go by, the zoo you picture when you think of “Sydney” is Taronga Zoo, located in fancy cliffs of Mosman. It has iconic views of Sydney’s harbour and is basically a postcard of the city, no competition at all — that is, until recently.
In 2015, a new zoo popped up in western Sydney, controversially named Sydney Zoo, and so the “zoo war” was born.
Taronga Zoo lost its shit at its new arch nemesis, brandished a metaphoric gun in the form of a lawsuit and decried: “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us!”
Well, not exactly, but it did try to prevent Sydney Zoo from using its new name because it argued people would confuse it as Taronga Zoo, AKA the REAL “Sydney Zoo” (in its opinion). It claimed that the newcomer couldn’t call itself Sydney Zoo because it was actually in western Sydney, even though that is… literally still in Sydney… and said people would mix the two up.
Anyway, Sydney Zoo was basically like “well you should have called yourself Sydney Zoo then, sounds like a you problem” and the lawsuit was settled outside of court with Sydney Zoo keeping its name.
Now, it looks like the petty drama wasn’t all for nothing, because it turns out there’s been a name mix-up just as Taronga Zoo suspected would happen.
This is where Harry Styles comes in.
The pop star, bless him, announced that over the course of his two-year tour, he raised $9.8 million for charity, with all the lucky ducks set to benefit to be announced on Tuesday.
Well, announced they were, with a list of 25 recipients including “Sydney Zoo”. But no, not actually Sydney Zoo. The money is going to… Taronga Zoo.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, it’s been confirmed that the undisclosed amount of cash is definitely headed to rest in the clutches of Taronga Zoo, despite the name on the recipient list, which I guess was just a mix up on his team’s behalf.
All I know is that if I was Sydney Zoo RN, I’d be fuming.
I guess Taronga Zoo was right to worry that people would mix the two up — who knew that Harry Styles would be the person to prove it.
What a strange twist in a wonderfully petty story.