Zoo housing 35,000 animals starts fundraiser after closing indefinitely due to COVID-19 | Inquirer News
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Zoo housing 35,000 animals starts fundraiser after closing indefinitely due to COVID-19

/ 06:24 PM June 05, 2020
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Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom. Image: Instagram/@chesterzoo

The biggest and most popular zoo in the United Kingdom is appealing for monetary donations after the government ordered the establishment to close indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Chester Zoo stated via Instagram on Wednesday, June 3, that it refuses to cut corners when it comes to taking care of its animals. It also lamented its continued closing, despite being equipped with “all the necessary safety measures,” while public parks and beaches are now open to the public.

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Chester Zoo is the home to 35,000 threatened and critically endangered animals, according to its fundraising website. Income from visitors  is crucial for the zoo since it makes up 97% of its income. The fundraising page also revealed that the zoo spends 465,000 pounds (P29.2 million) a month to look after its animals and plants.

The zoo explained on Instagram that it tried its best to stay positive during the pandemic. But with the government’s orders and its lack of visitors, the zoo is left to fight for its future.

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It declared that it was heading towards a debt of over 24 million pounds (P1.5 billion) by the end of 2020. Chester Zoo also needs 1.6 million pounds (over P100 million) to keep its operations going

“Our conservationists have continued to prevent extinction, our virtual days have cheered up the nation, and our learning resources have helped thousands of home-schooling families,” the zoo said.” We wanted to remain a beacon of hope. We really tried.”

If it opens, the zoo guaranteed that it can maintain social distancing in its property and keep visitors safe. Something that public parks and beaches cannot assure, said the zoo.

“We look on as, from this week, private gardens open up, while our own 128 acres of gardens and 16 (kilometers) of pathways remain closed, and under enormous financial pressure,” it said. “We REFUSE to cut corners when it comes to caring for the animals. We REFUSE to give up on our fight to prevent extinction.”

The zoo closed almost three months ago, following the government’s advice to practice social distancing, as per its Instagram post on March 22.

It assured the public then that animal experts including zookeepers, veterinarians and scientists will continue taking care of the animals with the “same level of care and attention they receive all year round.”

Those who are interested in assisting the zoo can donate to its fundraiser, which has raised 1.7 million pounds (P106.9 million), as of this writing. People could also adopt animals from the zoo to help. /ra

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, endangered animals, fundraisers, United Kingdom, zoo
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