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save dublin zoo Covid could see Dublin Zoo have to close for good, says boss

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A red panda at Dublin Zoo

A red panda at Dublin Zoo

A red panda at Dublin Zoo

DUBLIN Zoo has launched a fundraising appeal after warning it might have to close down.

It is asking the public for help to raise funds to keep it operating as it has been devastated by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

The Phoenix Park attraction has launched the Save Dublin Zoo campaign to help cover the cost of animal care, which amounts to €500,000 each month, as emergency cash reserves begin to run out.

Priority

"Without financial support, Dublin Zoo is concerned it may have to make the difficult decision to close its gates to the public," management said in a statement.

While the zoo is currently closed, keepers are still providing care to more than 400 animals, "which will always be the top priority".

The monthly costs include food, housing and a high level of care for the animals, but without regular income from visitor gate receipts since March, it is struggling to cover the running costs.

"We are in serious financial difficulty because of Covid-19 and are launching the Save Dublin Zoo campaign to raise much-needed funds to help care for the animals here," zoo director Dr Christoph Schwitzer said.

"We understand this is a challenging time for everyone, so we are asking people to only give what they can. Every donation counts, no matter the size.

"We have relied on our emergency cash reserves to remain open when allowed, but even then visitor number restrictions due to social distancing have made it near impossible to generate enough revenue to just break even.

"Without financial support we are facing an uncertain future and may have to close.

"We are now asking those who are able to help us to give what they can and help raise awareness for the Save Dublin Zoo campaign."

Inspired

The zoo has asked people to help by organising fundraisers, adopting an animal or donating directly through its website.

"Our situation is very serious. For generations, we have been a place where families and friends come together to connect with nature, learn about animals and be inspired together," operations manager Gerry Creighton said.

"We can no longer support ourselves under current restrictions and are running out of time."

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