ENTERTAINMENT

Zoos warn that they could become "EXTINCT" because they will not have access to Covid funds during the crisis


Zoos are threatened with extinction as a result of the pandemic, as they do not have access to vital resources to survive.

The UK and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) says zoos will struggle to survive the winter without immediate government intervention.

Although the government launched the £ 100 million Zoo Animals Fund in August, it is inaccessible to most of its members, according to BIAZA.

Kathryn England, London Zoo's chief operating officer, told the BBC's Today program: “We are all about protecting animals and preventing extinction. So it's a really awful place where we actually worry about the reality of extinction.

"This is a scary place for us to be now."

Nicky Needham, acting joint director of BIAZA, said the system was flawed.

The body that represents zoos and aquariums says they are threatened with extinction due to the pandemic as they cannot access the vital £ 100m SWF to survive

Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer of ZSL London Zoo, says the zoo itself is critically endangered, although the goal is to prevent animal extinction

Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer of ZSL London Zoo, says the zoo itself is critically endangered, although the goal is to prevent animal extinction

She said, “There is a condition that organizations must be limited to their last 12 weeks of funding and reserves.

“By the time they get to that point, any good zoo will have an emergency plan in place to house their animals and downsize their operations to maintain their standards of welfare and care.

"This is far too close to closing for most of our zoos and aquariums to benefit."

Said more help is needed, Ms. Needham added in a statement: “Without further intervention, we will likely lose some of our world-class zoos and aquariums before the next summer visitor period and see the end of their vital conservation and educational work.

"The action has been welcomed so far, but it is not enough to save our zoos."

The mission calls on the government to remove unacceptable obstacles to the Zoo Animals Fund in order to make it accessible to all zoos and aquariums in need

BIAZA also calls for funds to be earmarked to ensure that zoos are supported until 2021 and that corporate relief for the tourism sector is extended until 2021.

According to the London Zoo, the closure during the lockdown meant the organization lost millions of pounds and put the zoo's future at risk when it launched a fundraiser backed by Sir David Attenborough in July.

The London Zoological Society (ZSL) launched a campaign, with the support of Sir David Attenborough, to solicit public donations to help them stay afloat, which has continued since it reopened

The London Zoological Society (ZSL) launched a campaign, with the support of Sir David Attenborough, to solicit public donations to help them stay afloat, which has continued since it reopened

The funding is set to provide grants of up to £ 730,000 towards animal welfare costs for licensed zoos and aquariums in financial distress from Covid-19.

However, payments can only be accessed when an organization reaches 12 weeks or less of financial reserves.

Only one of around 300 zoo in England has successfully made a £ 100 million claim from a government recovery fund, according to the BBC.

Sir David Attenborough urged people to save the world's oldest zoo, run by the Zoological Society of London. He said: “The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has been an outstanding contributor to the protection and understanding of wildlife for 200 years.

& # 39; ZSL is now facing the biggest challenge so far. The national institution itself is now threatened with extinction. "

ZSL, which houses 20,000 animals in London and Whipsnade zoos, does not rely on fundraising alone to secure their future.

Chester Zoo and Edinburgh Zoo have both asked for public donations to help offset the damage caused by the pandemic.

Chester Zoo launched a "Save Our Zoo" campaign to help them continue their conservation work as they said they could not access the government fund.

Chester Zoo reopened in June, but the organization says more money is needed as visitor numbers are currently about half what it was before the pandemic

Chester Zoo reopened in June, but the organization says more money is needed as visitor numbers are currently about half what it was before the pandemic

In a statement, the zoo said: “Even if the zoo is closed, many of our employees are on vacation and are making an effort to cut all of our costs, we still had to spend £ 1.6 million a month to keep the zoo running hold.

“Like every professional organization, we have had access to cash reserves since the end of March, but without income from approvals and due to the restrictive criteria for applications, we have no access to financial resources from the state zoo support fund. Until June, we feared that an indefinite closure could mean the end of Chester Zoo. & # 39;

The zoo says it has received more than £ 3 million in donations since its campaign started, but that they are "not out of the woods yet".

"We have moved from a dangerous position to one that we can continue to work on."

& # 39; As limiting our attendance to about half our capacity puts a strain on our ability to raise money and our costs return to normal when we are open again, the pandemic has left us with a huge £ 5 million deficit in our finances. & # 39;

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