Following a desperate plea the Government has promised to offer financial support to Dublin Zoo.
The zoo this morning launched the ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ campaign, warning that it faces permanent closure without financial support.
According to the zoo it costs €500,000 a month to care for the animals, even when the doors are shut.
Speaking on the launch of the Save Dublin Zoo fundraising campaign, and about the current financial difficulty faced by the zoo during the Covid-19 pandemic, Director of Dublin Zoo, Dr Christoph Schwitzer said:
“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 at the Zoo.
“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.
“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”.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin this afternoon said the Government would offer bailouts to both Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park in Cork, which is facing similar problems.
The Taoiseach said the government does not want Dublin Zoo to close its doors, and will do everything it can to ensure it does not close.
The Government hopes the funding will help the parks survive through COVID-19 restrictions.
Dublin Zoo has been closed since the end of last month due to Level Five COVID-19 restrictions and it estimates it has lost out on over €8m in revenue from gate receipts so far this year.