News Ireland Dublin Zoo at risk of closure due to Covid...

Dublin Zoo at risk of closure due to Covid financial struggle

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Dublin Zoo has warned that it may be forced to close its gates to the public due to ongoing financial losses due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Animal care at the zoo costs €500,000 per month and ongoing cash reserves are starting to run out.

Although Dublin Zoo is currently closed to the public because of Covid-19 restrictions, the dedicated animal care team is still providing care to over 400 animals “which will always be the top priority”.

It costs €500,000 per month to feed, house and provide the highest level of care for the animals, but without regular income from visitor gate receipts since March, Dublin Zoo is struggling to cover its substantial running costs.

The ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ fundraising campaign has been launched today to help cover the cost of animal care, donations can be made at www.dublinzoo.ie.

Speaking on the launch of the Save Dublin Zoo fundraising campaign director of Dublin Zoo, 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.”

He added: “At this time of year, we are usually in the middle of Wild Lights and making preparations for the busy Christmas period, but instead we find ourselves fighting for our future and calling on the people of Ireland to answer our call and donate if possible.

“We are so grateful for the messages of support from our devoted visitors and annual pass holders who have shown an outpouring of love and compassion from the start. 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.”

Dublin Zoo operations manager, Gerry Creighton said: “For generations, we have been a place where families and friends come together to connect with nature, learn about animals and be inspired together. We can no longer support ourselves under current restrictions and are running out of time. Please help us Save Dublin Zoo. Even the smallest donations will help see us through these uncertain times so we can all experience the magic, joy and learning of Dublin Zoo again soon.”

As well as donating to the Save Dublin Zoo campaign, people can start their own fundraisers for the zoo with details available on the website.

Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation which does not receive statutory funding. Revenue streams, in the form of gate receipts and onsite sales, have all but evaporated because of Covid-19 and to date Dublin Zoo has lost €8.2m in potential revenue.

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