German Zoo Warns It May Have To Feed Some Animals To Others Due To Lockdown
A zoo in Germany has warned that in order for the zoo to survive it may have to feed some animals to the others.
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, zoos in many countries have been forced to close due to strict lockdown measures, meaning that many are struggling with cash to keep animals cared for.
Director of Neumünster Zoo Verena Kaspari told German news outlet Welt: "We've listed the animals we'll have to slaughter first."
But added that killing any animals would only be used as a last resort if the animals could not be moved and said that making the decision would be 'unpleasant'.
According to the news outlet, the zoo, which is home to Germany's largest polar bear, could lose around €175,000 (£152,400) worth of income if it has no visitors throughout the spring.
And, as you can probably imagine, keeping an entire zoo fed is expensive. Kaspari explained that seals and penguins required large quantities of fish each day.
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Heart-breakingly, Kaspari added: "If it comes to it, I'll have to euthanize animals, rather than let them starve."
Under normal circumstances, zoos that can no longer properly look after an animal would move it to another facility. However, due to borders being closed this isn't something that could easily happen.
The Neumünster Zoo is not covered by the state emergency fund for small businesses, so it is currently appealing for members of the public to donate funds. According to the BBC, zoos in Germany are jointly requesting aid from the government worth €100m (£86,917,500).
Germany's national zoo association (VdZ) claims that unlike most other businesses it can't simply close down during the lockdown, as animals still need to be fed and cared for and certain enclosures must remain heated, or chilled, to a specific temperature.
VdZ chief Jörg Junhold has said the average German zoo is losing around €500,000 (£435,127.50) every week during lockdown.
Zookeepers have also expressed their concern about the animals' well being because they are not seeing the visitors they usually do, with a spokesperson from Berlin Zoo saying, 'the apes especially love to watch people' and that the zoo's seals and parrots were also finding it 'really pretty boring' without visitors.
Featured Image Credit: Tierpark Neumünster